Citrix favours selective BYOD program

Not all of Citrix's staff have the luxury of becoming part of the vendor's formal BYOD scheme, which has reduced upgrade costs by 20 percent over three years.

Virtualisation vendor Citrix doesn't apply its formal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) across the organisation, and is selective of which employees it allows to join the BYOD scheme.

Citrix introduced its BYOD program five years ago, back before tablets took off. The program was originally, and is still formally, a notebook replacement scheme where employees receive a stipend of AU$2100 to buy a device of their choosing. Factoring the capital involved in upgrading corporate notebooks with associated management costs over a three-year period, Citrix ends up shaving 20 percent of that cost, according to Stuart Driver, Citrix's worldwide regional IT operations director.

To this day, tablets and smartphones still don't fall under the formal BYOD program, but Citrix supports them informally. Under the official BYOD scheme, the employee is responsible for managing the device.

Part of Citrix's BYOD policy involves staff getting approval from the IT department, because the company doesn't want every employee on the program.

"Some of them can't even tie their own shoelaces, so you don't want them plugging in a laptop and managing it themselves," Driver said at the Informa BYOD: 2012 conference in Sydney last week. "Part of the policy is that we can tell staff if the program is not right for them.

"We don't want to be blamed for a worker missing, say, their quota because they couldn't manage their own device."

Out of Citrix's 8,000-strong global workforce, Driver said that at least 50 percent cannot join the BYOD program because they either have too low or too high technology requirements. These workers can range from call centre staff to research and development (R&D) personnel.

"If a worker's footprint is AU$300-400, it really makes no sense to give them the full cost of the stipend," Driver said. "On the other end of the scale, engineers, technical support, R&D, and so on, have a higher technology footprint — guys that probably have a datacentre under their desk or need whacky equipment."

"They are excluded from the program."

For Citrix, its BYOD program is best suited for employees that fit in the middle, such as mobile salespeople or just typical notebook users. Around 25 percent of the Citrix workforce is currently on the BYOD program.

Citrix also found that those who have bought their own device using the company's BYOD notebook allowance tend to take better care of it. Driver also said that device-failure rate has dropped since the BYOD scheme was introduced.

"It's funny that people don't lose their devices when they own it themselves," he said.

"I'm not aware of a personally-owned devices, of one of our workers, that has been left in the back of cabs, but we've had that happening a lot with corporate-issued devices."