One of the challenges facing organizational IT at the moment is the personal computer problem. This is usually explained in one of the following ways:
We then hear a lot about IT needs to be “adaptive” to the needs of workers that want to use their own computers. The only way that IT can do this safely is if it has some policies in place and a signed agreement of the person who wants to use the personal computer to adhere to those policies. Having a written policy is like having a firewall protecting your butt as if you can point to something written down it doesn't seem as though you are being capricious in denying a request.
Here are some questions that need to be asked in developing a policy about people using their own computers rather than computers owned by the organization for doing organizational work:
In all cases you’ll need to develop policies and spell these issues out to people who want to use their own machines rather than the ones issued to them by the organization. The advantage of an organizational machine over a personal machine is that it is replaceable. If the person leaves the organization, the machine is handed back and no one has to worry too much about the thought of scrubbing a personal machine of organizational data and software. If the computer fails, organizational agreements ensure that hardware is replaceable. So while some people might want to use their “better” computer for organizational work, if you make clear, through policy, the hassle involved in doing so, most of them will choose to go with the “worse” organizational machine.
Last year there were reports of people being surprised when their personal phones were remote wiped after they left an organization. In those cases, the surprised people hadn’t read their organization’s policy with respect to using a personal phone to access corporate email. Using a personal computer to access and store organizational data entails similar responsibilities. If your organization is thinking of allowing people to use their personal computers to conduct organizational business on organizational premises, you definitely need to have a robust set of policies in place to deal with the inevitable sticky situations that such an arrangement is bound to generate.