How personal should a business PC be?
By John Clingan on Jan 24, 2007
I recall trying to sell some Sun workstations into a customer a while back. I couldn't believe how important a CD player was to the opportunity. My guess is that the users wanted to listen to music, but they would never admit it Yeah, this is pre-iPod/MP3-player days.Last night, while checking my StatCounter logs, I ran into someone hitting this post. The comment section is especially interesting.
PC stands for "Personal Computer". That makes sense if you own it. But a PC at work is really a BC (Business Computer). You don't own it. Your employer does. Many employers lock down their BCs so end user's can't "personalize" them too much. The more "personal" it becomes, the more it costs the company to support it. Many companies trend to the other end of the spectrum. The end users can do whatever they want. Thanks (or not) to government regulation, this peice of the pie is subject to shrinking (I have no data to back this up, not even anecdotal).
So here's the question. How "personal" should a business PC be? Here's an example. Let's say you are given the following options:
- You are given a "PC", and you can do what you want with it.
- You are given a "BC", and you can't do everything you want, but the company returns 1/2 of their savings to you. Let's say the savings is $500/year to you for the reduced management costs.
- Given my new-found weight loss, I have to add the Sun Ray You are given a Sun Ray at home, and $1000/year. The company's management costs drop as well as their real estate costs. FYI, I am not getting $1000/year. IBut I will save that much in gas
I know what most of you are thinking. "Hey, for $500 or $1000, I can buy a laptop". Yep, a new one every year, but you can't plug it in to the company network, and put them at risk.
What would you choose?