BYOC: It’s easier than you think now.

 Important considerations with BYOC strategy

 Employees who are given laptops by their company might use their hardware eight hours a day. The remaining eight hours of awake time, in the evening or on in transit, they might connect to the office to check email or catch up on work they didn’t get a chance to do during the day but realistically they’re going to use it mainly as a personal device – watching YouTube, gaming, surfing, listening to music, writing their long dreamed of novel.

Now an increasing number of IT decision makers are asking: If I’m giving employees a $1,000 laptop or a $500 thin client, and I’ve virtualized my OS, applications and user profiles and they’re all running in my data center instead of locally, why not go a step further? Why offer users the option to buy or bring in their own laptop – HP, Sony, Mac, iPad, whatever they like – and give them an allowance or stipend that represents the 50% time they’ll use the device for company work.

In fact, the Bring Your Own Computer (BYOC) model being considered or adopted by an increasing number of organizations as a way to significantly cut costs. Employees are given a pre-determined amount to buy their own device and often asked to sign up for a maintenance plan with the laptop’s manufacturer – the theory being that if there’s a hardware problem, the hardware company gets a call before the IT help desk. So the organization saves two ways – in terms of capital costs and dependency on IT.

Before you jump into BYOC, it’s a good idea to consider some guidelines:

  • Ask: Survey your employees first to see if BYOC is something they’d consider or be enthusiastic about participating in.
  • Review costs: Look at what your existing hardware costs are, define your costs saving target, a fair commitment period, a stipend that’s within your budget and will motivate employees, as well as proration policies for employees who leave your organization before their BYOC commitment period is up.
  • Review existing security: Ensure BYOC devices adhere to your organization’s security policies.
  • Outline rules: Be clear and upfront about what your BYOC program rules are and about any limitations participants in the program need to be aware of.

BYOC is not for every organization of course and some CIOs still worry about potential nightmare scenarios involving employees with 100 different devices, but a lot of companies are including BYOC as a legitimate strategy to help reduce capital expenditures and increase employee satisfaction. And for good reason – it’s working!

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About Jonathan White

Jonathan is a solutions architect within the Enterprise Architect Group at Softchoice. His main focus is to help customers define and design virtualization solutions.