Desktop virtualization is raging in Enterprise IT organizations today but can the same technology approach be used by Service Providers and Systems Integrators for consumption based services?  One of the main challenges in the transformation has to do with the user base and planning for use cases that stretch across the boundaries of all users.  Or, wait a minute, does it really?

When I was working in the data services group at AT&T we operated by the 80/20 rule… in fact, the rule was actually closer to 97/3.  That is to say, 97% of our users were categorized in pretty much the same bucket.  Their usage profiles were similar and the kinds of content they asked for was also similar.  So when we launched a new data service, we usually gravitated the marketing and sales toward this majority group.  That is not to say we didn’t have different bundles for businesses in this majority.  There is power in choice, and providing data plans that allow for flexibility enhances the ability to capture a larger portion of the 97%.  We did however use similar technology approaches even though the services were marketed differently.

Is it hard to imagine then that service providers who are looking to provide next generation IT services with desktop virtualization would follow what has been successful for the past 10 years?  Start with the largest population use cases and work your way up the ladder from there.  Will you capture 100% of the base out of the shoot?  Probably not, but then again penetration rates of 60-80% are huge when you’re talking about new technology in the mass market.  The good news is that Citrix has a model that allows for the 97%, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Starting with Hosted Shared Desktops and working your way up to Hosted VM-based Desktops will substantiate your route to market and give you the ability to provide applications on demand through a highly scalable, tried and true delivery model.  Each of your business customers will have a unique set of requirements, but you will be surprised at how many will want a core set of applications delivered first.

And please don’t be fooled by the terminology used here.  Task Workers do not necessarily mean non-professional.  In fact, we’ve seen attorneys, physicians and accountants all fit this category based on the type of applications they use most often and the use cases that surround them. 
Delivering the “Desktop as a Service” starts with delivering the applications needed most through the lens of the end user and providing a value they are willing to pay for in a consumption based revenue model.  After you can substantiate this model in mass, look for the next highest value to the end user, most likely a combination of another view of the lens, the Hosted VM-based followed by Locally Streamed, etc.