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Buy your own computer for work

by on26 September 2008


Could be a future trend in many enterprise IT shops

Companies are starting to experiment with a new program where they give employees who sign up with the program a $2,100 stipend to buy a laptop with a three-year service plan. The deal is that the employees get the ability to own the computer and use it for both home and work.

While the concept has been popular with some companies outside the U.S. for several years, it seems that some companies are just starting to experiment with the concept with pilot programs. Many employees are flocking to new programs like this in droves due to the fact that they spend so much time on the computer it just makes things easier to have one computer for home and work.

Many enterprise IT managers, however, are already speaking out about this experimental trend saying that they don’t like it and would not adopt it their organization if they had a say in the matter. Traditionally, most companies either buy or lease computers for their employees, which costs them in the range of between $1,500 to $2,500 per user; with the price going up depending on the software load of the computer.

One IT manager we spoke with believes that this experimental trend will not become popular because of the sheer extra cost that is going to be associated with supporting equipment and software that is not standardized. While solutions such as Terminal Server or Citrix are a solution that might make this possible, it could open the door to other management and legal issues that could be difficult to deal with.

“I guess it could work if you forced people to choose a system from a pre-configured list of options and insisted that the computer was configured the same way with the same software,” one IT manager told us. “Still, I would not want to figure out how I was going to get all of the company data off a computer that we didn’t own if we get into one of those sticky termination situations,” another IT professional suggested.

“Short of using technology such as Terminal Server or Citrix, I am not sure that I would want to deal with the possibility of users bringing in infected computers or computers with pirated software on them and having them connected to my network,” said another IT professional.

While the jury is still out, there does seem to be room for debate over the potential of such a program. However, the majority of IT professionals we talked to just didn’t seem to embrace the concept much at all, due to security and legal concerns.

Read more here on how Citrix is making this pilot program work.
Last modified on 26 September 2008
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