6 Benefits of the Best Kept Secret in IT: Thin Clients

Thin clients are not a new phenomenon in government IT, and have been in development for decades. Recently I spoke with Cody Gerhardt, Client Virtualization Pre-Sales Technical Consultant, HP, and he provided expert insights as to why thin clients are now gaining more attention from IT professionals. “As more government agencies start to look at VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft Virtual offerings, the adaptation of VDI technologies has brought interest to thin devices,” said Gerhardt.

In today’s fiscal climate, government agencies are making strategic IT investment decisions to spur efficiencies and innovation to meet growing agency demand. Specifically, agencies are deploying thin client solutions as part of their IT investments since they allow government workers to access information from anywhere on virtual desktops. In brief, thin clients move all data and computing resources from individual desktops to a remote, centralized server that can be accessed from any device through a secure login portal. Properly implemented, thin clients can lead to many benefits for government agencies. Gerhardt described six core benefits, which are explored in the report below:

  1. Reliability
  2. Resilience
  3. Reduced Power Use
  4. PC Replacement
  5. Efficiency
  6. Security

The report also includes:

  • Thin Clients in Government: Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois
  • Thin Clients and the Integration with the Cloud
  • Overcoming potential challenges with thin clients
  • The Unique Advantage Provided by HP offerings

Bridget Dancy, CIO, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, stated, “The fact that we’re able to use standard productivity software, centrally managed in our data center, is a big advantage. We couldn’t load Microsoft® Office on a dumb terminal. But thin clients can run it well. We also save money on licenses because we’re able to share software among multiple employees who aren’t all accessing it at the same time.”

Thin clients present many benefits for government agencies, and can be part of the solution to transform government IT. As Dancy states, “When we talk with other agencies, we mention HP Thin Clients and afterward, people come up and ask, ‘What’s a thin client?’ They’re one of the best kept secrets around.”


In light of these policy shifts such as the Digital Government Strategy, agencies are asking: how do we implement these changes methodically and responsibly, and how will the consumerization of IT continue to affect agencies going forward?


HP’s mission is to invent technologies and services that drive business value, create social benefit and improve the lives of customers — with a focus on affecting the greatest number of people possible. Check out their HP for Gov group on GovLoop.