Bring Your Own Computer to Work

I.T is always changing. The brand new computer you bought for the business three months ago is now already outdated without even having the chance to gather dust, or enough time to BSOD (Microsoft’s Blue Screen of Death) on you when a work report is due by the end of day.

In my opinion, this has somewhat to do with businesses waiting until the last minute or even too late to purchase newer machines in order to replace the old and faulty ones. Obviously there is a cost for purchasing and deployment of these new computers to consider.

So how can we overcome the issues of staff complaining about how slow or un-reliable a computer is, costs of I.T outsourcing to always patch fix minor issues and added with that, the pressure of todays slow economy forcing a lock from the accountant on all unnecessary expenses.

A possible solution could be found in Bring your Own Computer (BYOC), were staff bring and use their own equipment. The trend is already halfway there; many employees’ would have their own smartphone, which could be easily setup to operate with company email, but many likely already have setup their phones to receive work emails.

BYOC just takes it one step further. Employers can ask employee’s to bring there own laptop / tablet to use at work.

The benefits of BYO Computing are:

  • Costs for new equipment decrease for businesses
  • Allows the ability to take work home easier
  • Staff are then able to work how they like it
  • Staff are able to use the latest equipment i.e. tech toys

Staff are able to claim the work equipment for tax purposes, which they often wouldn’t have been able to do for a computer they purchased solely for personal use.

Companies such as Citrix have placed this in effect with staff under compliance guidelines to ensure security on the network; such as compulsory antivirus & anti-malware protection from key loggers and viruses.

There is a little uncertainty coming from many I.T Managers towards employee’s bringing their own equipment. For example, assisting staff to install software on their own hardware, rather than deploying a standard configuration workstation takes more time and increases the possibility of introducing viruses and the leaking of confidential files or information if items are lost or stolen.

These I.T managers are very correct in being concerned about these issues, however fear can be caused from lack of knowledge. I am not implying they don’t know what there talking about, but there are tools that help ensure prevention of these issues, such as Microsoft’s Windows 7 Bitlocker tool which encrypts all information on a hard disk, making it much more difficult (nothing in I.T is ever impossible) to gain access to such files if they fell into the wrong hands.

Another solution to help with security and provide the opportunity for employees to bring their own equipment is mentioned on one of New Age’s past articles on Cloud Computing & terminal servers, enabling your employee’s work from anywhere in the world, yet storing all your confidential files securely in one place.

With the substantial drop in pricing of laptops & desktops in the last three years, it is rapidly becoming more appealing for staff to purchase their own. This combined with the push for more mobile computing products, BYOC looks to be staying with us for the future.

Written By Steve Bakker