The goal of desktop virtualization is to break the dependence on end user computing needs from hardware and software limitations. In this type of environment, the user is free to use various devices to access their applications and data. Regardless of the scope of the implementation, there are three phases that can are key in the overall virtualization roll out plan.
Strategic Planning for a Desktop Virtualization Rollout
This phase will help you decide what you can and cannot do in terms of virtualization. Identify the key areas in the company that will benefit the most from desktop virtualization. What are the business benefits to implementing virtualization? This can be a time and resource intensive activity and there should be a clear business benefit for pursuing this approach.
Communication is key in this phase. Engage the executives, department managers and team leads to discuss the benefits and impact on their roles. Old roles may change and new roles may be created. How will the company handle such staff education and potential re-tooling?
This is a good phase in which to define and execute a smaller test project as a proof of concept. This will help create the budget, schedule and plan for a larger deployment, as well as demonstrate what can be implemented within the confines of the current architecture.
Incremental Roll Out
Implement the selected virtualization in key company areas, one at a time. Consider each roll out as a project in itself where you will evaluate and adjust the approach with each subsequent roll out. The goal in this phase is to build credibility by having many small successes.
This phase engages individuals throughout the company while determining what the company is capable of supporting in a larger deployment and the type of return that can be expected from an enterprise-wide effort.
Prepare for the Enterprise Level Adoption of Virtualization
The previous phase allows you to fine-tune the implementation process and provides useful information for rolling out virtualization to the entire company. The skills have been acquired to perform smooth deployments and answers to many of the questions that will be asked have been uncovered.
Most important is the demonstrated benefit of virtualization to the company. Standards can now be established, policies created and long term tracking put in place. By now, the IT support structure has evolved into an efficient resource in the company.
Big shifts in the way a company uses its resources can be accomplished successfully by the incremental adoption of these virtualization concepts.