The enterprise terminal market around 2023 |  TechTarget

The enterprise terminal market around 2023 | TechTarget

As we wrap up 2022 and our third year dominated by remote work, I’m having many conversations with customers and vendors about their plans for the future of End User Computing, or EUC.

The discussion often goes beyond just supporting remote work with desktop virtualization or managing the influx of different devices that users bring to the table. Certainly, desktop virtualization occupies a critical position in most organizations’ plans; but, with all the disruption in the VDI and desktop as a service (DaaS) space – Citrix and VMware are undergoing change and have taken over from Microsoft – other options are also presenting themselves.

This is in addition to other trends that are generating interest, such as PC as a service (PCaaS) and, believe it or not, the consolidation of devices around the smartphone. With all of that in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts on which devices are front and center as 2023 dawns.

Remote Desktop Endpoints

With all the focus on remote work via VDI or DaaS, organizations need to pay special attention to endpoints. On the one hand, organizations want to give their users the freedom to choose devices to improve employee satisfaction and retention, and even to attract new employees. On the other hand, IT would like to come up with a “dumb” device that doesn’t increase the user’s security footprint.

We’ve seen strong interest in the service approach to device lifecycles and management, with nearly 90% of organizations considering PCaaS a strategic or highly strategic component of their 2022 and 2023 endpoint plans.

How can these two desires be reconciled? Thin clients still have a place in common situations – kiosks, transient workplaces, manufacturing, warehousing, etc. – but which user will say “I would like an IGEL” when he could have had a MacBook Pro?

Of course, there are more than just remote desktop endpoints. PCs are still a huge market for businesses, but how is it affected by remote work? I have a lot of questions that I can’t wait to explore further:

  • Do organizations offer their users device choice?
  • What is the mix of company-owned or user-owned devices?
  • If you use desktop virtualization, what type of endpoints do you support and in what use cases?
    • Light client ?
    • Repurposed PCs?
    • Company-managed devices?
    • Unmanaged devices (zero trust)?
  • How are these devices managed, or are they managed at all?

PC as a service

On the other hand, there is the PC as a service. This is sometimes called device as a service, but we already have DaaS in EUC, so I’ll stick with PCaaS for now. Major PC manufacturers are throwing their weight behind these services. HP, Dell, and Lenovo each have a product that lets you pay a monthly fee for service that includes PC and laptop hardware, support, and updates.

A bar chart showing how many IT managers view PCaaS strategically.
Figure 1. Enterprise Strategy Group February 2022 survey.

We’ve seen strong interest in the service approach to device lifecycles and management, with nearly 90% of organizations considering PCaaS a strategic or highly strategic component of their 2022 and 2023 endpoint plans (Figure 1 ).

The idea of ​​shifting these capital expenditures and IT resource costs into an all-in-one operational expenditure is intriguing, but questions remain about these services as well:

  • How are Windows and Office licenses managed?
  • How are these devices managed? Via Intune, SCCM, a proprietary proprietary platform, via BYOD controls, or via another method?
  • Where does the management of the manufacturer stop and where does your internal management begin?
  • How would supply chain issues affect your subscription, deployment, and repairs?
  • Are organizations prioritizing this over cloud-based desktops from Amazon, Microsoft and others?

Device consolidation for enterprise endpoints

Remember phone nirvana? It’s a concept that Citrix coined in 2010 to describe a smartphone that could serve as a desktop form factor endpoint and remote desktop client. The term even has a Wikipedia page created by Citrix’s Chris Fleck. Although the concept never caught on, there have been many attempts to create a “dockable” phone that can be the unique endpoint for every user.

The rise is distinct. Having one modern device per user, as opposed to two or three devices, limits an organization’s security attack surface while reducing the number of devices and IT resources – including personnel, infrastructure and services – needed to manage them. But 13 years ago, devices weren’t that powerful, and mobile device management was just beginning to exist. The lack of standardization on devices, apps, cables and peripheral support, coupled with a general feeling of “I just want my phone to be my phone and my computer to be my computer” meant that the idea collapsed.

A bar chart showing enterprise interest in device convergence
Figure 2. Enterprise Strategy Group February 2022 survey.

Interestingly, I found research done before I joined TechTarget’s Enterprise Strategy Group that indicates organizations have a renewed interest in device consolidation (Figure 2).

Of the 378 respondents to the “End-User Computing Trends” survey, 90% of respondents said they would be interested in an option that uses a user’s smartphone as a potential replacement for a full laptop/desktop via a docking station.

Obviously, this needs to be explored further, as devices have never been more capable or more manageable.


My 2023 begins with a heavy focus on endpoints, and I have a lot of research in mind. If you have any thoughts on where I should go, or areas that need more exploration, be sure to let me know. You can find me on TwitterLinkedIn or Mastodon.

Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.

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