Skip the navigation

Ready or not, here comes user PC choice

By Sandra Gittlen
October 15, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Some IT executives might have been alarmed when Gartner Inc. predicted that by next year 10% of companies will require employees to purchase and maintain their own notebooks and other devices. But for Bill Leo, CIO of Oliver Wyman Delta Organization & Leadership, it was confirmation of what he already knew: He is already taking the first steps toward allowing employees to purchase and use their own PCs.

Leo hopes his program will be in full swing by 2010. "This will be an optional program and will evolve over time since investments in hardware are already in place," he said. He's hoping to have a "handful" of newly hired and affiliated consultants participate in the program throughout next year. His company is a 250-person management consultancy in New York.

Brian A. Young
Bill Leo, CIO at the Oliver Wyman Delta Organization & Leadership consultancy, says he's implementing Web-based applications and making other moves so his PC choice program is in full swing within the next couple of years.
One benefit, Leo said, will be to "have my staff focus more on strategic IT deliverables vs. tactical tasks." It's a potential cost-saver, too. "If I can grow my business by 30% and not add head count to the help desk or desktop infrastructure groups, that's a big payback," he said.

That said, he is taking some precautions to ensure success. "The first thing you have to do is move applications off the desktop and onto the Web," he said, something he has started doing.

Also, Leo has migrated his users from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook in a bid to simplify e-mail setup. Because Outlook already comes preloaded on most laptops, where Notes does not, this "allows for improved application access from any machine," Leo explained. Plus, the use of Outlook "creates greater flexibility for e-mail access from noncompany machines," for example, for any consultants who may be working on a project but who do not work for the firm full time.

Editor's note: This story has been clarified to make clear that Leo's switch to Outlook from Notes was a separate move, made for different reasons, than his transitioning corporate applications to the Web.

In general, Web-based applications allow IT staffers to move from supporting distributed client applications on every desktop to consolidating everything in the data center. They also "allow you to maximize security for the applications and the data they generate." Leo said this is essential when complying with corporate and regulatory mandates. "I put restrictions on what data they can modify and copy over the Web. This lessens the risk of someone being able to steal data," he said.


Our Commenting Policies
Consumerization of IT: Be in the know
consumer tech

Our new weekly Consumerization of IT newsletter covers a wide range of trends including BYOD, smartphones, tablets, MDM, cloud, social and what it all means for IT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!