Today I had yet another of my customers indicate that they are trying to figure out how to get rid of the corporate owned laptop. Last fall I had a similar discussion with a customer about employee owned laptops. At that time it was a conversation with an IT knowledge worker who would have rather been given the choice of which laptop he could use versus be forced upon a single brand. This time it was from an IT executive who would rather reduce his corporate desktop support costs by getting ride of the physical computers all together.
By providing a yearly or bi-yearly stipend and a set of minimum system requirements, let the employee buy the laptop of their choice. The company provides the business desktop as a virtual desktop that runs back in the data center and the employee accesses it from their own computer. Lower or no hardware support costs, data is secure in the corporate data center, easier centralized backups, and longer refresh cycles as the virtual desktop’s computing power can be dynamically expanded when needed and the servers can run for 4-5 years versus the company paying the expense of the refreshing laptop hardware every 2-3 years.
I think this company could get there eventually. Though it won’t be for all laptops in the organization, but a larger enough number of them to make the savings turn into real dollars.