Well this has been once debatable question or rather I would say adoptable method carried out by some companies. Microsoft,Intel & Citrix are some companies who adopt this and they have already carried it out in several region offices. Recent economic situation has given most employees green light for this. In a way I see this as a good thing and I started adopting this almost before big companies decide about it. Actually in year 2007 🙂
We as technical persons cannot be locked down for 8 –5 usual office work hours, sometimes we work from home and until late night. Apart from that companies prefer to get maximum benefits out of the employees apart from that HR keeps on trying making the life comfortable for the work force. (Weather they success or not is a different question) My point is everyone want to be happy and still not compromise the rules right? Well in that case BYOC is a good method for several reasons,
1. Employees will have their personal laptop and can work from anywhere, which I call freedom and flexibility
2. Employer cannot afford all the latest hardware to be given to employees all the time to carry out their work and replacing the hardware annually. But they can lend some money to employees to have their own machine with certain legal condition, and this will be fraction of the cost of their annual IT budget.
3. Employees have the flexibility to work and same time have break and use it more meaningfully to interact with friends and colleagues via MSN, other IM’s and social networks. (Eg: Face Book) I know some companies will see FB as a bad thing but again fundamental rules work out over here, trust between employee and the employer. I also agree not wasting time on FB doing farming or playing games in office working hours. Keep that for OOOH (Out Of Office hours)
So on even you’ll can figure out various benefits which is good for both parties. With every new concepts comes some raised concerns and same goes over here.
1. Security – Well this is something for the IT department to come up with. Do you really think BYOC is the only major issue? think about the other methods your network can compromise. What we should really care about is how to make sure company main servers and confidential data can be secured properly. I have seen many times it comes to the boiling point of servers not been secured with the recommendation security patches and security policies. Now it’s time to go and have a second look at the security aspects more deeply.
2. Cost – As I mention this will be lot less if you plan if carefully. Since you’re not going to spend so much money but lend some money for the employee to buy his/her own machine with relevant terms and condition. But please remember this option is not applicable for all the companies and this has to be evaluated even department level as well.
3. Security Policy – Well companies can have that hefty security policy guideline books with them still 🙂 Well my point is you can still apply some general rules and terms and evaluate your security polices and try to balance everything. If you’re so much concern about the desktop environments then this is the time you can even evaluate the VDI (Virtual Desktop Interface) Microsoft and Citrix is offering pretty cool solutions for this. I think the way we moving forward with year 2010 VDI will be a good option for companies to consider.
So in a nutshell those are my opinions about BYOC and I agree with this trend and the question is do you? Share your thoughts about it and see if we can change the working environment for more friendly flexible and sexy!!!! I mean with cool laptop models people 🙂