The Blurring Lines Between Your Personal Tech And Your Company's

from the which-is-more-inefficient dept

While the Yankee Group is reporting that most companies aren’t very efficient in handling mobile phone plans for employees, it seems to raise a larger question about the boundary between personal and corporate use of technology. Part of the reason for the problem described in the article is that many people buy their own mobile phones and their own plans and then just expense them back to the company. This doesn’t seem particularly efficient to the analysts writing the study. Indeed, it’s not that efficient. The company probably could work out a plan with a wireless carrier that would save them a bundle. However, taking this a step deeper, you begin to wonder if there are benefits in the in-efficiency. By letting individual users select their own phones and plans, they can better find exactly what they need, rather than be limited by what the company has pre-negotiated with a single provider. Furthermore, as the boundary between personal lives and corporate lives continues to blur, many people don’t want their mobile phone plan to be tied to their employer. They want to be able to keep their phone/plan even if they leave for another job. Eventually, this starts to apply to other areas as well. If you have a nice laptop for personal use, does it make sense for your employer to buy you another (perhaps not as nice) laptop for corporate use? Isn’t that inefficient? Of course, there are risks with that as well – such as a higher level of risk that confidential info gets out of the company onto a personal machine, rather than locked down at the corporate level. Still, these questions are only going to become more important as the line between personal tech and corporate tech continues to blur. Some companies already are trying to answer this with discounted choices (such as offering employees discounts on certain brands of computers, but making the choice entirely up to them). Still, it’s not clear that many companies have thought this through in a very detailed way.

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