Buy your own laptop!

There was a recent interesting BBC News article on bringing your own device to work.

Do you dream of a world where you have your choice of laptop, smartphone or tablet at work; all of which connect seamlessly one to another, and are constantly updated?

Sitting at your desk, feeling the red mist descend as your ancient XP desktop computer tries and fails to open your inbox, this might seem like an impossible dream. But for some people that day is already here.

There is a lot of discussion around learners bringing their own devices to support their learning, I wonder where we are with staff in colleges using their own devices in the workplace.

Of course, working in a college, I am more than aware of how many staff use their own computers at home and lots of staff bring in their own smartphones and tablets to use in the classroom.

There are many issues with staff using their own devices, data protection and safeguarding probably at the top.

However using thin client technology, desktop virtualisation, and tools such as Citrix Receiver, it is very easy to deliver college systems securely to any device.

Strategically there is a need to build a robust infrastructure to support external devices, but there are a lot of potential benefits.

Downside is then there is an expectation that staff will be using their own devices and new equipment won’t be bought for existing staff to replace redundant kit. “You don’t need a new laptop, you use your Mac!” I suspect though that view is one that will often be the one of some managers.

I personally don’t see Bring Your Own Device as a replacement for providing equipment to staff, it’s a complementary strategy that allows staff to be more efficient and effective.

So what are your thoughts on staff bringing their own devices to work?

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