The vast majority of organisations have made little attempt to virtualise their desktop infrastructure but more than 90% expect to be using desktop virtualisation within the next five years.
According to a survey of more than 200 IT decision-makers by independent consultancy Centralis, many respondents had virtualised some of their server infrastructure and one-third had virtualised at least 60%, but the shift to virtualised desktop infrastructure (VDI) was still in its early stages.
Over 80% said less than 10% of their desktop infrastructure was virtualised, although 14% of respondents had taken a significant bet on the technology by virtualising 50% of their desktop infrastructure.
When asked which virtualisation solution they expected to be using on the desktop in five years' time, 94% of all respondents predicted they would be running VMWare and 78% also expected to be using Citrix. Microsoft trailed a distant third with 21%.
The figures suggest that nearly all respondents believe they will have virtualised some of their desktop infrastructure by 2013.
Commenting on the results, Ewen Anderson, managing director of Centralis, claimed virtualisation was "virtually unstoppable" but admitted widescale of adoption of virtual desktops was "very much in the slow lane".
But he added that the figures demonstrated server virtualisation was benefiting mainstream production systems. "With organisations focused so intently on business efficiency, 2009 is likely to see the desktop accelerate to follow a similar path as the enterprise looks to take control of this most dispersed and expensive computing resource," he said.