One in 10 bring own laptop to the office

laptop users

One in 10 employees are bringing their own laptop to work, according to a survey from Gartner.

The analyst firm expects that number to climb to 14 per cent by the middle of next year although the UK is expected to be slower taking up the system compared to German and US counterparts.

Still, nearly half of firms don't allow employees to use their own equipment in the office, while 43 per cent have policies managing the situation.

"While employee-owned notebook programs started to appear a couple of years ago, the acceptance of such schemes by organizations varies greatly," said Annette Jump, research director at Gartner, in a statement.

"However, in the current climate of cost containment, large enterprises are exploring all possibilities offered by alternative client computing architectures and device solution, and that includes employee-owned PCs," she added.

Virtualisation firms like VMware and Citrix have been pushing the Bring Your Own Computer system, saying IT departments can rollout virtualised desktops to keep the work side separate and secure from the rest of the computer.

This doesn't necessarily mean that employees are going to be stuck with the cost of procuring a laptop, however. Citrix has been running its own trial of the system, where employees are given a stipend to let them pick their own kit. The computer is owned by the employee, offered as part of the benefits package.

Cost savings

Gartner said using a managed virtual machine on an employee-owned laptop could offer savings between nine per cent and 40 per cent, as it cuts down indirect management costs.

Because of this emerging trend, Gartner advised PC sellers to take advantage of it by offering package deals that include the hardware as well as support, applications and virtualisation software.

"PC vendors cannot afford to miss the phenomenon of employee-owned notebooks and we advise them to create employee-purchase programs that not only include hardware devices but also services and support options for users," Jump said.