Just recently, Citrix passed a significant milestone. It has been three years since the launch of their global BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer) programme. It was particularly significant as this marked a formal review and assessment of the programme across the entire company. We were fortunate enough to speak with Stuart Driver, Director, WW Regional IT Operations, who told us more.
“The programme passed with flying colours. The few changes that were made were actually to change the rules and regulations to encourage further participation.”
The vision behind the program was to embrace the shift to consumerisation of devices in the workplace and to deliver employees a simple, ubiquitous access experience whether at the office, at home or whilst travelling, regardless of the device they were using.
Before launching the programme, Citrix carefully assessed any potential exposure to the organisation through the apparent loss of control of IT systems and potential for increased risk. The extensive internal consultative process determined that the BYOC policy offered greater reward to the organisation than it did risk.
Interestingly, the review extended well beyond the IT department and involved a raft of different functions, HR, Legal and Payroll to name three. Once existing company policies had been reviewed and amended to reflect the new programme, Citrix had to update a number of business processes and embark on a quite substantial education process within the management tiers of the firm to ensure the whole team was on-board.
But as Driver stated: “This consultative approach, the business process change and internal education was absolutely central to the long term success of the program. It was worth investing the time to get it right.”
Somewhat uniquely, the Citrix BYOC program not only gives employees the choice to connect seamlessly to the information they need to work productively, for those who wish to participate, it financially compensates them to the tune of $2,100 over three years. This money offsets the initial and ongoing costs of the employee’s devices. That figure was carefully selected. It represented a 20% reduction on the average cost of maintaining a laptop within the company. This provided an important financial incentive for the P&L manager’s within the firm to get on board and promote the scheme.
It’s important to note that the programme is not available to all employees. Some roles such as call centre staff have no need for mobility or access outside of work hours, and can rely on dumb terminals to perform their duties. At the other end of the technology spectrum, roles in R&D and engineering are fully equipped with multiple devices already to develop and test Citrix’s offerings, so it made no sense to include them in the scheme.
So how has the programme been received across the organisation?
Rather than worrying about any loss of control, The IT department loves the program because it means they spend less time doing low value tasks such as setting up PCs for staff, and can allocate more resources to initiatives that are more strategically important to the business.
The BYOC policy has become a key recruitment and retention tool and is seen by applicants and employees as a significant benefit.
Interestingly, despite Citrix’s employee count increasingly significantly in the last three years, service desk incidents have decreased substantially. Random checks have indicated staff members are keeping software releases up to date and have been almost no reports of lost or stolen devices. By way of explanation Driver says, “I put this down to what we call the “rental car syndrome”. It's human nature: people look after their own property better.”