Your PC, our software… – It’s all about Bring your own PC to work

July 26, 2009

Managed services, software on demand (SoD), software as a service (SaaS), knowledge as a service (KaaS)… and many, many more. They all have something common: they are all about outsourcing intangible assets. What about outsourcing tangibles, as IT hardware for instance? Well, there is also quite a new concept on the market. It is called Bring your own PC to work

On one side crisis times do not promote innovations (as cost cuttings are necessary!). On the other hand cost reductions, quality and/or productivity improvements are possible thanks to innovations.

One of innovative solutions (best applicable in the crisis time to cut costs) is the concept Bring your own PC to work. In continental Europe the concept is not wider adopted (yet), however, Europe is trying hard to implement the innovations. Maybe this article would also be a motivator for continental Europe to wider use this trend – and similar ones? In contrast, the British and US Americans have been talking about this concept (and successfully using it) for a couple of years now.

Bring your own PC to work

Let’s talk about the details now. There are certain professionals who have better, quicker computers at home than at work (as IT professionals for instance). Sometimes people use their company notebooks not only for job-related activities but also for private ones. And their private PCs are sometimes used for work-related tasks, too. A precise dividing on private and job-related using of PCs is probably not possible. And that is the origin of the trend Bring your own PC to work.

We have to do with the following situation: We use the hardware for private and professional purposes, at home, at work, in the train or in the airport. It actually does not make much sense to use many different PCs only for that reason that we are in different locations (home, office) in different times of the day. It is definitely better to perform all tasks using just one computer. Similar question could be asked regarding using of two cars (private and company car) – therefore many companies offer the possibility to use a company car also for private purposes, or using two mobile phones.

The benefits from using the „two in one” solutions are clear, aren’t they? Let’s have a short look at the less popular aspects (and how to deal with them):

Security aspect. Can we guarantee that our private PC is not virus infected? Well, principally it is not a problem. Seeing a risk in it, we should actually forbid using pen-drivers, CD-ROMs, diskettes – or maybe even using the Internet (or its parts)…

Financial aspect. Why would we have to finance something which we use at work? Well, actually we do not have to do that. Many employers using the Bring your own PC to work concept refund a certain amount of money to the employee and that, what he or she buys as an extra/upgrade to company standard should be financed by themselves.

Use and maintenance. The question of using and maintaining the private PC used at work can be converted in the win-win situation: The employees would likely take more care of their own hardware than they would do having a company one. And that is the win of the employer. But the same employer can make the professional environment more employee-friendly, offering them using of company resources for their private purposes: using of company software or IT employees, helping to perform more complex installations. And that is the win on the side of employee.

IT policy. What if we use another operating system than that used in the company? Or our text editor is not compatible with that the company has? There is also a solution in such cases: We can either oblige our employees to save documents in company standard form (software version, file extension etc.) or using virtual desktops, which provide the standard software our company use.

I am sure that if we consider all the above mentioned aspects, we will come to the conclusion that this concept makes sense. Nowadays we have an additional motivator in form of the crisis, and we need innovations to reduce costs… And outsourcing hardware to private hands is one of the good possibilities.

Magdalena Szarafin


5 Responses to “Your PC, our software… – It’s all about Bring your own PC to work”

  1. Security on July 28th, 2009 5:12 pm

    I have been working in US for some time now, not sure which company allows their employees and contractors to bring their own computers. Already the help desk have enough issues managing company PCs, if they allow people to bring in their own PCs, that will be nightmare for them. In the future you do not need any computer just your cell phone (or some other device) and beam it on the wall/surface and you’ve the computer. The combination of and some other technology will make it possible

  2. Magdalena Szarafin on July 28th, 2009 5:30 pm

    Regarding Security’s comment: Thank you for your interesting comment. Yes, there are some aspects of the bring your own PC to work concept which can be discussed about (to find proper solutions).
    Regarding your question about which US companies use the concept: let’s take Citrix or Cisco as an example. At Citrix the employees get a US$ 2,100 stipend to buy a laptop and three-year service plan. In exchange for getting a computer with the specs they want – whether it’s a wide screen, a light weight or ultra-fast processing – they essentially take on the company’s technology purchasing and maintenance responsibilities.
    I hope, I could help you?

    Magdalena Szarafin

  3. Jacob on July 28th, 2009 9:42 pm

    What does this blog has to do with outsourcing???? I did not get it

  4. Magdalena Szarafin on July 29th, 2009 2:08 am

    To Jacob’s comment (thank you for it and let me explain the outsouricng context).
    Traditionally, the IT infrastructure (hardware and software) belong to a company. If you implement the concept bring your own PC to work, you outsource part of the physical infrastructure (IT hardware) to your employees.
    I have also stated it in the introduction, dealing outsourcing into outsourcing intangible and tangible assets. Bring your own PC to work is a form of outsourcing tangible assets.

    Magdalena Szarafin

  5. BYOPC – Bring Your Own PC « Confessions of an IT Manager on May 14th, 2010 1:41 am

    […] PC, Our Software – It’s all about Bring You Own PC to Work, Outsource Portfolio, 7/26/2009,, Retrieved 5/10/2010 Leave a […]

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