Case notes: Factors influencing the adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) within the South African banking sector
South African Journal of Information and Communication
In the 21st century, portable computers and wide area networks are fast becoming the paradigm for computing presence in commercial and industrial settings. The concept of virtualisation in computing originated in the 1960s. Several virtualisation technologies have emerged over the past decade, with the most notable being VMWare, Citrix and Microsoft VDI solutions, including Azure RemoteApp. This paper explores factors influencing the adoption of VDI in the South African banking sector by
... nting Rogers' "perceived characteristics of innovations". The study found that the relative advantage of VDI, as perceived in banking institutions, includes improved data security and staff working experience; reduced time to deploy devices; and reduced computer downtime. The findings on compatibility factors indicate that good VDI compatibility with legacy software and hardware has a direct relationship with users' successful adoption. The findings on complexity of use show that other factors, such as the flexibility that comes with remote access, may be a greater influence on adoption than ease of use. Observability of reduced IT support time and increased productivity of remote access have a positive relationship with adoption. KEYWORDS virtual desktop infrastructure, VDI, virtualisation, thin client, innovation in banking, perceived characteristics of innovations INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN BANKING: RESEARCH PROBLEM AND OBJECTIVES The South African banking sector had total assets of approximately ZAR4.6 trillion in September 2015, of which ZAR3.5 trillion consisted of gross loans and advances, ZAR885 billion consisted of home loan assets, ZAR325 billion consisted of commercial mortgage assets, and ZAR108 billion consisted of credit card assets (SA Reserve Bank, 2015) . The banking sector allocates a sizeable portion of its annual capital and operating budgets to information technology purchases and deployments (Wati & Koo, 2009 ). Accompanying the focus on funding is an increasing drive for improved productivity and better use of new and existing IT assets. Traditionally, personal computers have comprised one of the pillars of computing in the banking sector. The complexity of personal computers (PCs) is one of the reasons for the high cost of IT (Valovic, 2009) . Vast financial resources are required to maintain and optimise activities such as software licensing, data security, business continuity and upgrading of computer hardware and general technology infrastructure to meet new organisational requirements, resulting in the ever-increasing costs of managing their life cycle. Furthermore, the PC environment has particular shortcomings, including the challenges associated with asset and configuration management, hardware and software management, installing and patching operating systems and applications, and creating higher levels of data security.