Q. What's BYOPC?

A. BYOPC is an acronym for bring your own PC. In a BYOPC arrangement, employees of a company use their own personally-supplied equipment to perform their jobs. Other BYOPC arrangements retain company ownership of the PC but relax the typical corporate restrictions on the PC itself.

The recent interest in BYOPC stems from the movement away from typical brick-and-mortar office arrangements, where employees do their jobs in a designated location with a designated desktop computer. An emerging trend is moving employees away from those designated locations and hardware and towards a more work-from-wherever-you-are approach.

Working from home, on the road, at client locations, and within partner companies requires a shift in IT application and data delivery. IT and business applications need to be available anywhere with an Internet connection. The changes also make the traditional locked-down approach to desktop management challenging.

While BYOPC lifts many of the common restrictions on the PC itself, applications and data still need to be delivered to those PCs in a safe, secure, and controlled manner. Thus, most BYOPC arrangements use virtualized desktops and/or applications that users connect to from their own PC. IT control is shifted to within those virtualized desktops and applications. As a result, a user can use their PC from wherever they are, with the understanding that connections into their employer and its applications are controlled through typical IT mechanisms.

The move to BYOPC can be done for cost savings, eliminating the total cost of ownership for desktop computers. It can also be done out of necessity due to a mobile workforce. Much of the industry movement in this space is currently being championed by virtual desktop and virtual application vendors.

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