A pilot scheme introduced by Citrix to enable employees to choose the computing device they use at work has been formalised after successful take-up.
In September 2008, Citrix introduced a scheme, known as Buy Your Own Computer (BYOC), and made it initially available to 10% of its total workforce of over 5,000.
The scheme, under which the company pays for the device the worker chooses, is now available to all staff and has been taken up by 20% of the company's staff worldwide.
James Stevenson, who heads up Citrix's UK, Ireland and South Africa operations, says the programme is popular with staff and has saved the company money. "The only thing we can measure is the cost of a provided laptop versus the cost of running the scheme. Over a three-year period, the saving has been about 20%," he said.
The BYOC scheme only asks that employees use a Mac or a Windows-based device. The company then provides anti-virus software. But it has also encouraged employees to buy their own devices outside the programme. "On top of the 1,000 in the BYOC scheme, probably another 1,000 have bought their own devices to use," Stevenson said, adding that iPads have been popular among this group.
He says the scheme is open to all staff, who have two opportunities to join the BYOC scheme: when they join the company or when there is a computer refresh cycle.
Citrix provides the software, which means applications sit on central servers rather than devices but can be securely accessed from any device.
The trend for staff to choose their own devices is growing. In a report on trends in technology for 2010, Deloitte predicted that more employers would allow their workers to choose their own devices to link to the corporate network.
Speaking at the time, Paul Lee, director at Deloitte Research, said there a number of trends had come together to drive this approach: devices themselves do not have to store applications, consumers can access corporate software via the internet, and consumer devices can harness broadband and be as powerful as corporate machines.