We’ve been hearing frequent debates about whether it’s safe,
sensible, and ultimately workable to let employees use their own personal
computers as their work systems. In an increasingly mobile and cloud-based technology
environment, the questions are becoming ever more urgent.
IT Business Edge
into the trenches, visiting Carfax and
interviewing its CTO, Gary Lee, to find out how its program,
which involves about 30 percent of its 500 workers, is going. It’s a
revealing look at what works well and where the challenges lie. Lee says:
employees to purchase PCs for a while now, essentially providing an
interest-free loan so they can update their personal PCs. So we think it’ll be
an easy transition. Friday afternoons are personal development time for our
developers. They go off and try new things, so they do downloads we wouldn’t
let them do on a Carfax PC. They bring their machines into the development
center. When it’s a non-Carfax device and they hook into the wireless network,
we push them back out onto the Internet so they’re not on the Carfax network.
Lee sees his program as an employee benefit (noting that if
an employee leaves, he takes the computer and pays back the loan). He also
acknowledges that smartphones should be included in the program, since more
and more employees get their work done on the road with no computer at all.
There’s much more to figure out, of course, but Carfax is
off to a fast start. You can certainly learn from what they’ve tried so far.
— Don Willmott