Times change. Is your IT department changing along with them?

My latest column for Computerworld explores the issue of Bring Your Own PC and whet it’s a good idea for businesses. What do you think? Should IT departments start approaching PCs as they do smartphones?

A well-organized BYOPC program can help IT make users happy, no small thing for a department in constant danger of reorganization and outsourcing. Properly done, it can be an easy way to make friends and win internal support. BYOPC programs generally subsidize laptops, with the policy being that users can also make personal use of the machine (which only makes sense, since we all know that users already commingle their business and personal information on their devices). If a lot of your users are now restricted to desktop machines, the change could provide a boost in productivity, since laptop users are more likely to work beyond business hours.

2 responses to “Times change. Is your IT department changing along with them?

  1. I think it’s a bad idea for these reasons:
    1. It’ll be hell for IT to be able to support all these different machines. Not to mention all the security risks
    2. I don’t think people want to work anymore than they are now. If you got some guy who’s really keen on working more than he needs to, then he deserves a laptop.
    3. I know tons of people who use company laptops as their personal laptops, that being said I’m not sure what kind of laptop they’d buy for themselves if it were also being used for work. They’d probably skimp out on features that typical work laptops have, causing more frustrations for the IT team. We all know that laptops are not of equal quality.
    4. I think it’s easier if employees just did some kind of remote desktop login.

  2. Its a good article, the situation now is very different than it was 5 years ago.

    I am the CSO for a company that has a reasonably relaxed culture to the use of third-party devices.

    We require all of the equipment to be declared and be subject to a risk assessment, which may require additional controls to be applied.

    The key thing is that when a user connects a third-party device to our network, it becomes subject to whatever controls were enforcing. These are typically include the separation work and personal accounts; the pushing out of end point security software; monitoring; and right to audit.

    I agree with Eric’s 4th point – thin client technology also means that staff can bring in whatever device they choose but the data remains on corporate equipment.

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