The decade of Bring-Your-Own-Computer

January 7, 2010

In the next 18 months, I think we’re going to see a significant percentage of companies give their employees a stipend for their own computer or device–a device which does not belong to the company, but belongs to the user.

Last year, there were several articles written about Citrix’s decision to give money to employees to buy their own laptop, rather than having one supplied by their company. Most of the articles were skeptical to some degree, with blogger Patrick Cunningham boldly stating that a bring-your-own-computer model is “penny wise and pound foolish.” (One of his commenters more boldly states that it’s “truly one of the worst corporate ideas I’ve ever heard.”)

  1. ZDNet: Bring Your Own Computer–Citrix’s Experiment in Computing
  2. Above the RIM: Bring Your Own Computer
  3. Miami Herald: Bring Your Own Computer to Work?
  4. WindowsITPro: Bring Your Own Computer

Over the next few blogposts, I’ll start a discussion of BYOC, since it’s been about a year since Citrix and Intel kicked it off. I’ll talk to one of the biggest proponents of BYOC, the Citrix technologist who coordinates the program, and I hope to get some dissenting voices as well. (Let me know if you’re one of these dissenting voices, especially if you have experience with a BYOC program at your company.) I’ll talk about not just the pros and cons of BYOC, but the business, security, and technology issues that must be addressed for any BYOC program to be implemented.

But I believe this idea is going to take off this decade (and probably over the next 18 months) for the simple reason that users will demand it. The bring-your-own-computer concept is popular with young end users, who have grown up with a computer keyboard and who’ve never known a world without cell phones. These, after all, are the future rising stars.

Stay tuned as this discussion continues. Next up: the pros of the BYOC programs.


One Response to “The decade of Bring-Your-Own-Computer”

  1. […] Ardoin, a former colleague, has posted some comment on Bring-Your-Own-Computer, the notion that companies should rely on employees’ personal laptops. My security-wonk-alarm […]

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