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  • #2179289

    Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop


    by demroyer ·

    I manage the network infrastructure for a medium-sized private company (just under 100 employees), and have been responsible over the years for deploying the desktop environment. One of my fellow Technology managers has had a laptop for years, and requested an upgrade to a new “convertible” (Tablet) laptop. This request prompted my director to ask me for a list of requirements that a user would have to meet in order to justify receiving a laptop. She is afraid that everyone in the company will decide they want a laptop instead of a desktop (“because they’re cool”), and wants specific guidelines put in place so that the decision to grant a laptop or not is based on a consistent set of rules rather than perceived favoritism. Since very few people in my company actually travel out of the office for business (which I see as the number one reason for a laptop), laptops have always been a bit of a luxury, given only to Executives, telecommuters, and a chosen few managers who have managed to get them approved in the past. Does anyone know of a standard set of guidelines for determining who should or shouldn’t receive a laptop? I know the prices have come down, but they are often still significantly more than an equivalent desktop, especially since no one wants to skimp on warranties, power, or features. I looked around the Net a bit, but nothing obvious jumped out at me, so any help with this would be greatly appreciated.


All Comments

  • Author
    • #3116221

      If they have an excessive amount of programs.

      by cat1service ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I used to work for a huge company and gave alot of users laptops. Laptops have come a long way but they still dont possess the processing capability and stability that desktops can. I noticed with the laptops we were always running into issues with huge apps like SAP or Citrix even on the client end. Alot of users were submitting requests for more laptop memory.

      It is not a huge issue but one to think about. Consider it a gift that they asked you to do this. Most of the time they will just tell you to order laptops no matter how bad it will mess up network operations.

      Good Luck man

      • #3116151


        by mjd420nova ·

        In reply to If they have an excessive amount of programs.

        We don’t issue laptops to individual users they
        have a desktop and the laptops are location
        oriented and don’t leave a specific area.
        Company data is not allowed out of the facility.
        NO HOME WORK

        • #3129317


          by joco_ph ·

          In reply to Laptop

          we only issue laptop to Senior Personnel… That is Management Team Member and up.

        • #3126969


          by cherokee_tribute ·

          In reply to Laptop

          Excellent point

    • #3114729


      by why me worry? ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Most companies have very strict rules about not allowing their users to have laptops in the office or bring their own personal laptops into the office. The issue here is security and from multiple standpoints.

      1. If the user copies corporate data onto the laptop and the laptop is stolen, then sensitive corporate data and/or trade secrets may be compromised

      2. The user can use confidential corporate data to profit from it by selling it to a competitor. Although this is uncommon and can result in criminal prosecution and a major lawsuit against the employee, it does happen.

      3. The user can infect the laptop with a virus or spyware and then introduce this virus/worm/spyware into the corporate network when they plug it in

      The last job I had did not allow users to take data home with them. If they did, it was checked out of the document management system onto a floppy disk and there was a record of it on the system. If users needed to work from home or abroad, they had the ability to login via a Citrix session and feel as if they are in the office. No data was ever exchanged between their personal laptops or desktops, and all the PCs’ in the office were locked down to the point that they were dumb terminals without access to local drives or USB ports and such.

      • #3128520


        by maelorin ·


        my previous employer only made laptops availableto each team because dragging a desktop around law courts is insanely impractical.

        each machine is allocated to the most senior team member. those babies were tracked by hungry hawks.

        accidents and mistakes do happen. which is where good passwords and encryption come in. as well as physical security measures.

        as the tech nerd on the team, i usually got the job of babysitting ‘the beep box’. it wasn’t worth my sanity to lose track of it.

        that said, i agree with you on all the points you raise. laptops *can* be a security risk, and also a o&hs issue.

        like everything else in ict, and business, the need must be compelling. and the staff must also be properly trained – with solid guidelines and policies. contingency plans are essential.

        data was never kept on the machine itself. large collections were carried on cd or dvd discs, editable documents on secure pendrives. and the joy of working in a team is that each of us made a point of watching each other’s backs.

      • #3129090

        & that’s why users hate IT

        by middlingmgr ·


        “Most” companies don’t allow users to take laptops home? Could be, I really don’t know. Do you really know that for a fact? I would be surprised if that is true.

        Why wouldn’t you let a user take a laptop home? That’s one of the primary uses for having a laptop. Companies with IT policies like this are why Dilbert calls the department head the Preventer of Information Services or something along that line.

        Sure they could steal corporate data and sell it. They could just as easily steal it from the office, too, so what is the point? Give people the data so they can work with it. If they are willing to put in extra work from home, why would you want to stop that?

        We do the justification by the seat of our pants. If there is favoritism, then there is favorititism, life will go on. We just make sure that if people are to connect to the network (via VPN) that they are using a company laptop, so we know it has the proper antivirus and spyware software on it that is regularly updated.

        I properly should implement encrypting the data, however, in case of theft, which someone had suggested – thanks.

        • #3127134


          by dave_callaghan ·

          In reply to & that’s why users hate IT

          The key word in Information Services is Services. Those that want to severely restrict laptops are overly concerned security (control freeks?) and forgetting that other employees have a job to do. If they want to steal data that they have access to, forcing them on laptops will not prevent the theft. Paper, floppies, CDRWs, thumb drives all provide the ability to steal information just as much as a laptop would.

          The real security issue with laptops is theft. However, unless we are talking national security issues here, I don’t think the risk is anywhere near what many IT people think it is. The 99.999% of laptop theft is for the hardware. That stolen machine is going to be resold to a pawn shop or out of the back of some guy’s trunk. I doubt very much that the new “owner” will give a damn about the budget projections or customer lists on the hard drive. If you are that paranoid about that 0.001% risk, I’d suggest you redirect your attention to real issues like power outtages and spikes that are much more likely to have a $ impact. Remember that measuring risk is a combination of likelihood and dollar loss.

          The payoff from providing laptops to users so they can work nights and weekends for no extra pay is significant.

        • #3128031


          by geraldkiii ·

          In reply to & that’s why users hate IT

          I have worked for a few very large corporations and just about everyone had a laptop. Desktops are for people that do not travel or need to work long hours. Say you have work that you have to catch up on, you are more willing to catch up on the work at home for FREE than you are staying at work and getting overtime. The luxuries of home. In the case of salary then you are always working. Just about everyone I work with now has a laptop. There are more PRO’s than cons with laptops. They are just powerful, light weight and the battery life is a bit better than the old days. Also you can work from just about anywhere. McDonalds, planes, relatives house when they are boring you with meaningless chit chat. Say you are having server troubles and are at the house. How will you check the server issues out without a laptop? You have to get dressed and drive into work. Now if you have a laptop you can just turn the laptop on and VPN into your network. Let the work begin. I say people are more likely to steal your boyfriend/girlfriend than to steal company data. Of course laptops do come up missing a lot. That is the big CON.

        • #3130013

          Agree completely…

          by mharris672 ·

          In reply to & that’s why users hate IT

          Excellent comments…In today’s business environment, fewer people are constantly required to do more work. Commuting and working from home are almost a necessity. As a Training Manager, I can work round-the-clock, and still remain behind on numerous projects. Utilizing a flash drive (1GB) just isn’t enough. I need access to everything…whenever I’m out of my office. Laptops with docking stations should be increasingly implemented. Security practices can be maintained…and people can be held accountable.

      • #3129067

        security snake oil policy on laptops.

        by michael_orton9 ·


        The idea that banning laptops from work is a real security policy is IMHO nuts!
        It will only stop the casual, incompetent spy!
        With 2 Gb USB thumdrives available for around ?100, and most of these could be carried internally, any serious person who wants to sell the companies crown jewels will have no problem.
        Yes you can block USB ports and unblock them with
        a simple registry edit.
        Or boot with a Knoppix floppy + cd, and copy anything to the USB thumb drive.
        Its one of those “old wives” security “solutions” that really only gives the impression of security.
        As I used to state: “Its good enough for the Data Protection Act!”

        • #3129051

          well, yes except…

          by aaron20 ·

          In reply to security snake oil policy on laptops.

          …as you just mentioned, it WILL stop the “casual” theft and the loosing/stealing of laptops and those are significant. Still, though, I think you make a good point. It takes a very well designed and implemented security structure to make it hard for an internal person determined to steal data.

      • #3128823

        all typical management responses and here is the counter…

        by cclark ·


        1. encrypt the hard drive
        2. Some of the most confidential documents (like corporate earnings) can be an 8×10 sheet of paper.
        3. Hardening the laptop with the proper antivirus software and an EPO to ensure definitions are up to date can solve this problem

        • #3129355

          more things you can protect your laptop and network

          by th7711 ·

          In reply to all typical management responses and here is the counter…

          adding to pt3, clean (or even earse) the harddisk after th elaptop is return AND before it is attached back to your main network.

          maybe, you need a personal firwall if your user is on road.

      • #3129406

        Maybe so but what is the diff?

        by viper777 ·


        You can successfully control the Lappy but does your computers allow USB drives pocket or hard-drives to be connected? I can at any time go to the shared network drive and copy all the files onto my usb drives, then lose that! Much easier to lose one of those than a laptop. Our department suffers from a non-user friendly way to connect field laptops as they are rarely connected to the network, but at the same time, the virus software updates and other updates just don’t get on there for months at a time; obviously it’s different for directors and the like with their work desk laptop setups – they lose laptops too…

      • #3129351

        problem to block USB

        by th7711 ·


        totally agree as my company has similar situation.

        if you try to block USB in the office, you, sooner or later, have problem on control. as USB is more and more common for different device, e.g. digital camera. you may need some control software. in fact, I am looking for this kind of solution. any suggestion.

        • #3129246

          Blocking USB

          by michael_orton9 ·

          In reply to problem to block USB

          1/ You can stuff the USB ports with epoxy.. and then they are useless… to anybody!
          2/ You can probably get windoze security that blocks USB access (trivially you can do it with regedit) But anybody with a Linux boot disk/live linux cd can easily overcome this, AND add a keystroke logger and grab encryption (even PGP 2048 digit) keys.
          Remember if anybody can get access to a PC on multiple occasions, any data is theirs!
          It just depends IF you have the sort of data that is worth the time, effort and resources to copy.
          An example:
          I once found on someone’s PC a keylogger in a C:\pgp folder. Well I strongly suspect it was a logger, it was very large and unreadable with and e88 text editor!
          It was hidden, read only and system file something like 0a6kb4123456d.par
          Naturally I was slightly suspicious about a partition file not being in root.
          I changing it to *.var lost no disk space,
          attributes were changed and Nortons’ wipefile sorted it out. I used CHATT.exe a late 80s dos tool that still works with fat32, but not NTFS.
          I tend to reach for “naughty” tools before any “proper” ones.
          The next week the person suffered a very suspicious break in with nothing taken!
          A few weeks before, the person, a government nuclear scientist had applied for a job abroad!
          Obviously someone had the time, money and staff to try to recover encrypted files on the PC.
          It leads me to believe that 2048 digit RSA PGP keys are fairly safe IF you can keep the(up to) 128 digit passphrase secure and obscure, even from probably MI5!

        • #3126884

          usb, av and encryption

          by tech supporter ·

          In reply to problem to block USB

          Favouritism will always exist on the top corridor.

          We encrypt our laptops and PDA’s with a government approved product, Becrypt. In the event of a unit being lost or stolen the strong user authentication locks the thief out, and wipes the memory/drive after 5 failed attempts. They get to keep the hardware but we retain our data integrity.

          Use the bios to prevent usb floppy or key, or cd-rom booting. Also place an ownership tag/text in there.

          Ensure the antivirus software engine is updated along with the signature file each time the laptop connects to the network.

          Introduce a security policy making usb keys illegal. Train users to understand basic security re strong passwords and explain why they have the 3 login attempts lockout, 5 attempts drive wipe implemented. Also, why they are forced to connect to the LAN every xx days and update/run AV checks.

          Use the registry key hack to disable usb on all desktops, or for greater control use a product such as LANDesk or Securewave Device Manager that drills down to user level rights.

          Its almost impossible to stop insiders stealing data but good practice along with stict policies and minimal security software goes along way to protecting it.

    • #3114726

      my 2 bits

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      laptops only for:
      1) road warriors. ( the salesmen )
      they can carry presentations on them to seel potential clients. submit orders via whichever means company wants.

      2) service techs, that make out calls, if the company has such.

      3) Senior Management*, for use at business mettings, conferences etc. if they are in a position like this, they have enough data at their fingertips all day to make notes on enough to screw the company if they were going to do so.
      and I mean CEO, CIO, Head of Accounting, President, Vice President.. the top level management.

      5) any manager / supervisor that needs to travel on company business ( other office / factory etc ) where having thier own system will be conducive to increased productivity.

      there are no other reasons for allowing anyone a laptop. as has been stated, it is a serious security risk.

      all laptops, when connecting to network, are locked down until a complete virus scan is done.
      also complete adware / spyware scan.

      users of laptops have no priviledges to install software.

      make the laptops a burden to be avoided, instead of a perc. then it makes them less likely to be requested.

      all persons getting laptop need to sign a legally binding agreement that will shaft them if they violate it.

      • #3114439

        And 25 cents more

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to my 2 bits

        Laptops should have a boot password.

        Regarding managers and supervisors as jaqui discussed in 5 above: if you have users who only occasionally need a laptop (vacation, training seminar, etc.), get an extra one and use it as a loaner.

        Laptops often cost twice as much as a desktop, for a slower processor and a smaller display. For whatever reasons, they require more attention from tech support. Replacement components are more expensive since they’re usually proprietary, and they’re harder to install. Replacement cost of a display is usually close to the cost of replacing the system.

        No one needs a laptop who only works at a desk and doesn’t carry their work home.

        • #3128949

          And another two bits…

          by f3r4l ·

          In reply to And 25 cents more

          I couldn’t agree with you more. I have even suggested to my IT department that if a teammember needs to be able to work from home part of the time that it would be more economical to just purchase them another desktop PC. With the prices of PC’s and laptops today, you can almost buy 3 PC’s for the price of one laptop of comperable power…

          Not only do you save money, you don’t have to worry about it being stolen from their car and what not.

        • #3126968

          I agree but…

          by jc2it ·

          In reply to And 25 cents more

          The problem with a bios password is that it can be reset by pulling the CR2032 battery on the MOBO. At least everyone I have needed to reset has worked this way.

          It needs to be built into a ROM that cannot be overwritten, and while you are at it, make the password a hash for the disk file system encryption.

      • #3128528

        Re: My two bits

        by rcohen58 ·

        In reply to my 2 bits

        Jaqui makes excellent points and I completely agree with his 5 requirements. The only other one I would add is if you have employees who regularly support company applications/business during off hours. If you have a 7/24 shop (like mine is) then that would be the only other reason I can see to issue a laptop.

        I would only add that laptops should be required to have in addition to anti-virus, anti-spyware a configurable firewall that can be centrally managed.


      • #3129449

        We give laptops to mobile workers

        by wooish ·

        In reply to my 2 bits

        We’ve recently deployed laptops to Mobile workers and Executives. The rest of the people will work on their desktops. The laptop has dual purposes, they can be used as a workstation when they’re inside the company, secondly when they’re out in the field they can use it to connect to a Citrix session or work offline.

        We have antivirus software installed and schedule it to update the definition whenever they have connection to the internet. To guard against unauthorized software installs and viruses, we also installed Cisco Secure Agent. So far so good. As far as security is concern, IMO I think you’ll have some kind of security issue no matter what security measure you have on laptops. Good luck.

      • #3127127

        Same for desktops

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to my 2 bits

        We have some of the same policies here, for desktops as well.

        Users can’t install anything. Can’t update anything. Corporate version of anti-virus, anti spyware, yadda. Updates via SMS only. You need something new, a tech comes out (or remotes in) to make it so. CEO included.

        Almost makes having a PC something to be avoided, eh?

      • #3127123

        OTOH, we have a lot of laptops

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to my 2 bits

        If you need to leave your cube to go to a meeting ever, you are likely going to have a laptop.

        Since you need to be a company machine to get on to the VPN, after a while it’s just like security token, only heavier.

    • #3116921

      Basically agree with Jaqui

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      In addition, people who are on call as troubleshooters can have them.

      In general, having a company laptop is not a favor because it means you have a devil of a time separating work from real life. In tacit recognition of this many companies don’t actually have a policy about using the computer for recreation or personal affairs.

      Yes, security is an issue in theory. But given that the business world has standardized on the Windows architecture it obviously doesn’t give security a high priority. A few laptops out there in the hands of loyal, sensible, well-trained employees aren’t going to make much of a difference.

    • #3116905

      Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

      by demroyer ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I wanted to thank everyone for the feedback on this issue – it seems like everyone is pretty wary of supporting laptops due to the security issues and additional support requirements (which I have always felt to be the case myself). One thing I didn’t mention in my original post is that my company has been implementing Work From Home/Flexible Work Week options for most employees over the past few months, which has resulted in many users accessing the company network from their home PCs (which is another potential support/security nightmare). This new policy has added another dimension to this whole laptop issue – is it better to spend more money on laptops that can be properly secured and controlled for home use (but which would result in greater support issues)? Or is it better to keep providing cheaper and more easily managed desktops at the office, forcing users to access their work PCs from home through a program like Remote Desktop (which is what most users are currently doing when working from home)? Allowing employees to occassionally work from home has been a great benefit and even seems to have enhanced productivity a bit, but it presents a whole slew of issues for my department to ensure that the network is adequetely protected. This has only been compounded by the fact that the company doesn’t want to spend any money to allow users to work from home (i.e. you can work from home if you provide all your own equipment to do so), which puts the burden on my team to protect the network from whatever nastiness may exist on a users home computer. So far this hasn’t been an issue, but the more users that participate in this process, the more likely a problem becomes.

      I’m leaning toward purchasing a few laptops that can be used as loaners for employees who travel or want to work offsite (from home or otherwise), which would allow my team to provide a more secure means of remote access to the network.

      • #3137729

        9 Years of Laptops

        by nishpc ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        Our company has been providing laptops for a bit over 9 years. We have had losses and support issues, and all that other set of problems. The current state of the art [of providing laptops] can be summarized as:
        1. only with approved business case[why it’s good for the company]. This usually means..
        – road warriors
        – telecommuters
        – “exemt” employees that really do work at home nights and weekends[we are a non-profit that has some real workaholics sending 2 AM emails several times a week. One guy called me from a beach house in Aruba and asked how to get a modem to work from there.]
        – trainers that run presentations from their machines
        2. Even for the above categories, “keepping up with email” is not good enough because a TREO is cheaper and those issued a TREO have had their laptops withdrawn unless they cna justify both.
        3. Laptop users are not given Admin rights to their machines. That was the biggest support headache in the beginning, but if they can’t derail the environment too badly then you have greater control/security/stability and fewer support calls.
        4. Boot passowrds and auto virus updates on each login to the office LAN.
        5. Replace laptops every 3rd year. minimizes support issues as well as performace problems.

        We have found that we have greater control and security if they do NOT do work on their own equipment.

        • #3137715

          Couldn’t live without it

          by cberding ·

          In reply to 9 Years of Laptops

          I don’t buy the “road warrior” bit.

          Yes, if your company is really wanting to get more people to be productive and work from home, you are going to have to evaluate what it would be like to get EVERYONE a laptop.

          Recently, I was an IT contractor and expected to do after hours support. It was a nightmare without a laptop. I didn’t like having one at first, but I was able to be productive and work from home, even when my child was sick. I was hourly so if I did not work, I did not get paid.

          While I disliked the 24/7 nature of having a laptop, I liked the flexibility of it.

          As I said before, if your organization wants to get people working from home, you’ll have to consider it.

          You’ll need to get a VPN up and running and implement corporate security policies (virus scanners and firewalls) before you let any information out the door. The best thing about laptops from a legal standpoint, is that you have a machine for “work” with work software and you don’t get into nearly the messes you could if you let people install their own software on home PCs.

          Standardization is a really great thing for the techs.

      • #3128541

        Home workers

        by tt-w ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        I’d go with having a few loan machines – you have the control over them, in terms of security and compliance, since the borrower should not be able to install any software. So you can rest a little easier that you know what is being connected to your network.

        As far as general use of laptops goes, I’d agree with Jacqui – the only justification for issuing a laptop is need. I have several users who regularly work away from the office, and need to be able to take their mail and other files with them. Denying them a laptop is impractical. I count myself as one of htese, since I do occasionally get to escape from the office, and also have to use the machine in the factory for various jobs. But giving a laptop out because they are “cool” is no justification – that just cuts the figures on the bottom line!

      • #3128522

        Supporting home systems…

        by techniquephreak ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        I had them insert into the employee handbook’s computer use policy that:

        a) IT does not support home equipment.
        b) You must have written authorization from your department head to connect from offsite.
        c) All users connect using remote desktop connections, and the terminal server they connect to restricts them from installing new software, accessing internet browsers, etc.
        d) “Local Resources”, specifically disk drives, are disabled.

        They can still do whatever to their own machine, but the terminal server remains unaffected if they do something stupid.

        We also have a few “decommissioned” notebooks that we use as loaners. They are bare bones and you have to be an admin to install anything or change critical settings. Folks have to sign them out, and they are easily reimaged once they are checked back in.

      • #3128500


        by e-male ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        Being able to work on the computer at home will give the employees higher competence working with computers. In Sweden there is a tax reduction when your employer arrange for you to have a computer at home. Thanks to that, 80% of everyone in Sweden in age between 18 and 85 has access to a computer at home.

        And if the employee is happy with a laptop instead of higher salary, I cannot see any problems. Maybe a laptop is cheaper…

      • #3128986

        Think Broader – topic is really remote access

        by pmoleski ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        As the infrastructure provider in your company you are making technology available to allow people to do their work in the way that makes them the most productive. That will be somewhat unique to each individual depending on their job function and position in the company. Develop a range of services and a process for talking to employees to determine what is best for them. For you reference I will give you a bit of the run down for what we currently do acknowledging the some of the people who have replied are even further along technically than we are.

        1) Desktop ? we provide one of either laptop, desktop, or older desktop running CITRIX/hosted applications (also know as thin client). Power users with huge spreadsheets, statistical analysis, application developers, etc. have desktops. The rest have the thin client machines that are basically glorified terminals. The Laptops are for the key users that consistently travel, and often work at home.

        2) Remote access from home ? our preferred solution, which is better than a laptop, consists of the user accessing work using an SSL/VPN solution. It requires that the user machine be at a certain level of software and also be up to date with the virus software protection that we specify. We provide the user a CD to take home that installs everything for them. The CD also includes the software for installation of a PKI certificate on the users home machine. As mentioned in another post this means that they work from home as if they are at the office, avoiding the issues with laptops. To make this work the user needs some sort of Highspeed/DSL/Broadband connection to the Internet and your company network will also have to be connected to the Internet with appropriate security in place. I believe our solution is from Juniper but there are several on the market. The best part of this solution is that it checks to make sure the connecting machine is up to the current software versions before connecting it to the network.

        This is also our preferred method for those with Laptops to connect back to the office when on the road.

        3) Shared Laptops ? we offer a pool of these and scrub them clean softwarewise each time they come back in. They are also equipped with the remote access software based on the SSL/VPN.

        4) Blackberry or equivalent ? in many cases all a person needs to do is stay in touch to check for emails. Often a device such as a blackberry/cell phone in conjunction with the desktop is enough.

        What we have found is that the true road warrior and executives that work around the clock end up having everything as per their choice. They use the blackberry during the day. They work on the laptop at night while travelling or at home via the SSL/VPN and then bring the laptop back with them to the office. Alternatively if they have a desktop at work then they usually have a blackberry and loan out a laptop for trips and use the remote access from their own PC at home.

        5) Tablet PC ? we have deployed only one of these. It is for an executive who justified it on the premise that they have to take minutes at many meeting they attend, often while travelling and the writing stylus is less disruptive then typing.

        In general we have a simple form that must be signed by an executive that requests an evaluation of a users needs if beyond the basic desktop top. Based on the conversation a recommendation of some or all of the above is made that best fits the needs of the user involved. It is true to say that we are more lenient towards the executives in terms of giving them preferred service.

        For the few users that have laptops and take them everywhere there is some risk involved. Less if they use the remote access solution when away but some remains. Are next evolution will be to get to having the internal network set up as a VPN that quarantines any device connected to it the same way as we do now for the remote access.

        Given your second post that clarifies most people just want to work from home I would move towards the SSL/VPN type of solution.

      • #3129111

        Tele Work

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        You hit my hot button. Could you not make an overall saving my having those folks who don’t need to be in the office, just be at the end of a phone and an internet/VPN connection? Maybe get rid of some professional shoulder-surfers in management whose sole job is to watch other people work?

        My current consulting gig is with a location of about 1200 people, of which maybe 20 really need to be “here”.

      • #3130005

        Virtual Laptop

        by jefferson.harris9 ·

        In reply to Another Wrinkle: Working From Home

        Try exploring the use of VMWare Workstation. You can create an image of a laptop in a VM, preset for the user’s needs and things like VPN, put the VM and the VMWare program on a DVD with an installer for them. That way they can take the DVD home, run the installer, and have a virtual laptop running on their own computer which is locked down, never needs transit, can be restored with a simple reinstall, and patch management and virus updates can go out on RW CDs. The bust out retail for VMWare is 300, much cheaper than a laptop, and you’ll have overall lower maintenance costs plus no capital expenditure as with hardware.

        It doesn’t fit all users of course. And any remote solution should also include a user system fire wall that has server based rules like McAfee’s. That way you can control if they’re running programs on the basis of being connected to the network…having access to a centrally managed file share.

        That will allow you to lock down the remote desktop you’re using, which is kind of a big hole in your firewall.

        Present management with the idea, I know they don’t want to spend anything, but the expense of making a bad decision is really ugly….you can’t control what they have on their personal equipement and if just one of them gets something like sql slammer and it jumps the remote connection…well you can imagine the impact financially.

        • #3124786

          I would suggest?

          by andrew t. fry ·

          In reply to Virtual Laptop

          using the new VMWare Player if you plan on going that route. It would only require a single copy of VMWare Workstation to create the virtual machines. That’s assuming you decided to go that route.

    • #3137429


      by gsg ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I don’t have a list, but I’m an IT person that made the transition after saying it would be a cold day in “heck”. What made it justified for me is that out of a 40 hr work week (yeah right) I was spending 20+ hours in meetings. We are in a massive implementation, and people would always ask me for info, and I’d have to get back to them later. That caused more meetings. By having the laptop, I have my info at my fingertips, and, as has happened many times, can hook it up to the projector and show them to make my point. Additionally, I could take meeting notes on paper, then come back and transcribe them, or, with the laptop, just take it and do my notes in the meeting. That saved time, and kept me from losing notes, which allowed us to prove to the vendor that they said something was supported.
      We severely limit the use, and the laptops are not to go home except in rare cases. No data is stored locally, it must all be accessed through the VPN and stored on our servers.

      • #3137253

        “the laptops are not to go home”

        by charliespencer ·

        In reply to Justification

        If you’re not taking them out of the building, wouldn’t it be cheaper to outfit each meeting room with a couple of desktops?

    • #3119036

      a few thoughts

      by master3bs ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      If the user travels frequently outside the office.

      If the user travels frequently inside the office (such as a tech that might take the laptop to different locations.)

      If the user frequently telecommutes or otherwise works outside the office.

      If the user is a tech or upper management that might need access to a work computer outside the office at infrequent intervals.

      I can think of no other legitimate reason.

    • #3130576

      Thanks for the feedback!

      by demroyer ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop


      Just wanted to thank everyone for the feedback – I’ve sort of combined a number of your suggestions in order to come up with a policy that makes sense for my company. In short, I’ve identified five eligibility requirements for receiving a laptop – travel, telecommuting, after hours support, business continuity, or technology requirement (like needing a Tablet PC). I’ve also sold the idea to purchase a few “loaner” laptops that will be available to those who have an occassional need for one.

      The next challenge is in implementing the proper security protocol for these laptops, which my team is working on (again, using some of your suggestions as guidelines).

      Thanks again for the advice everyone!


      • #3124813

        too late to reply?

        by zfwilliamson ·

        In reply to Thanks for the feedback!

        We’ve done this at our company and I think it’ll work for you:

        We remote access via VPN and Remote Desktop Connection to a local server. Every employee has a personal drive space mapped to any computer they log into. This is done for security reasons as well as business reasons. A benefit of remoting in and letting a server do the ‘work’ is that you don’t have to use a brand-spanking-new machine. We have several laptops that are too old to issue (Win2k boxes) that work perfectly for this work. Have had no complaints from Management or Personell and our job is much easier.

        I agree with those who say that Laptop users should not be a Local Administrator. However, it’s something you will have to decide based on the level of your network security and remote abilities. All you need is to have a user out of town for a week and discover on Day 1 they (or you) forgot something and there’s not a darn thing you can do about it!

    • #3128556

      Use Health & Safety Argument

      by johnofstony ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      It is a fact that for optimum comfort and healthy use of a computer, the screen should have its top at eye level and the keyboard should be at desk level. This is not possible with a laptop unless a separate keyboard and/or screen are/is used (or you are of unusually short build). Also, laptop screens are generally smaller in area than desktop screens, so get everyone with a desktop PC a 17″ or 19″ LCD monitor and see how the ‘demand’ for laptops fades – coupled with publicising the above health argument. Also make a rule that laptops are not to be taken home unless working from home is done on them – that’ll reduce their appeal. Personally, I prefer a desktop any day.

      • #3128534

        RE: Use Health & Safety Argument

        by csnuts ·

        In reply to Use Health & Safety Argument

        Well, that one will work if you’re not willing to get them docking stations ;). We purchase the Port Replicators for our Latitude D610’s and they’re great. This way my people have the flexibility of the laptop for after hours or “flex days” and the ergonomics of the office setup when they’re in the office.

        As the QA Manager I decided that ALL users in my department are assigned a laptop along with a much less powerful desktop, a phased out tech floor model, so they can complete their tasks. This helps keep them happy if they need to put in a few extra hours, they can at least do it from home, or Starbucks or wherever. The laptops also make them more productive because they can basically work when they want if they need to take time. “Flex days” are the real deal!

        Our parent company has a default config they purchase from Dell with the standard image installed. Each department makes room in their budget for “extras” like more memory and the port replicators. For example, our standard config has 512 Meg of Ram, but my users need at least 1 gig so that’s how we order them. All laptops are set up with Altiris so updates can be “pushed” as required. All machines are replaced as the warranties expire to help the IT guys. The secure VPN is corporate wide and pretty much locks down local lan access when they are logged in but each home user is still required to have a router. Each user must “sign out” the equipement along with a usage disclaimer on issue. In my case, all users are admins but the department is pretty small. However, when a problem arises the IT guy will try and retrieve the data before he restores the standard image so they are conditioned to occasionaly copy important files to some type of backup.

        You have no idea how much this helps improve morale in a department whose only purpose in life is to point out flaws 🙂

    • #3128549

      laptops only to those who need them constantly

      by gennady ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      our company gives a laptop to people that:
      – contstantly work out of office
      – must have a computer during meetings, frequently
      – frequently travel

      those that travel occasionally, get laptops for the travel and then return it to IT department.

      many people use laptops to answer emails during long meetings and conference calls; some people access their desktop from a laptop using remote desktop during meetings.

      people who frequently work from home, often get a company computer installed at home.

      I personally have a laptop and I use it both at home and in the office. when I asked for a computer at home, I was asked to give up the laptop. Fair, IMHO. However, I preferred to keep the laptop (mainly for meetings :)) rather than have a desktop at home.

    • #3128546

      Why Worry

      by rick.dash ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      As the Sr network infrastructure engineer at our facility. We decided that all personnel can have a laptop. When they destory it we simply re-iimage it and issue it back. We gave up the battle of who gets what becasue they would always go to someone higher in the chain of command and get any decision overthrown if it was not the answer they wanted. It was simpler to just give them everything.

      • #3128536

        Simplicity rules

        by rdpeters ·

        In reply to Why Worry

        The amount of brainpower expended on this thread far exceeds the cost of a few laptops. The major cost in any organization is its PEOPLE, not its hardware! And by that, I mean the people who WORK, not the ones who ADMINISTER I/T!
        Because the nature of work today is knowledge-centered, the faster and easier we can make it to have knowledge at our fingertips, 24/7/365, the more productive employees can be. THIS is the strategic advantage to a corporation.
        This blog is dominated by IT staffers; I was one for 10 years. For 25 years after that, I worked in the Operations, Marketing, R&D, Sales, and Engineering organizations of similarly large companies. Outside of the I/T department, access to information, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, is the determinant.

        If an employee needs it, they need it. Period. Not for I/T to Decide!!!!!

        • #3129066

          Finally a logical response!

          by david.cook ·

          In reply to Simplicity rules

          This boils down to IT wanting to be king of the hill at the company. This disguise this in stupid language like “protecting security” and “checking in a laptop and checking it out” OMG! Sorry, it’s a computer.. IT’s job is to HELP PEOPLE DO THEIR JOBS FASTER!! Quit reading all those stupid articles on the internet about security. Your not protecting peoples lives by hording laptops…

          I am a developer and luckily at this job I have a laptop. I much pefer it over a desktop, sure it’s slower and such, but it’s portable, and that is the key. Plus the video is much crisper than that of any cludgy monitor.

          Network guys crack me up…

        • #3129050


          by hankers ·

          In reply to Finally a logical response!

          Obviously written by a fellow who’s lucky enough to never have had to sort out a major security breach, or had an employee “lose” a laptop with lots of sensitive data on it.
          Yeah, I get called the “Security Nazi” a lot by people with little or no brainpower, but hey, the dark side’s got to have SOME fun in it…

        • #3129659

          if you think that’s my disguise..

          by rdpeters ·

          In reply to Disguise???

          then think again.

          I have MANAGED projects of hundreds of people, each with laptops, each with secure data on their machines. They were responsible individuals, they logged millions of airline miles, and they did business with reputable individuals like themselves.

          Like me, their productivity and job satisfaction far outweighed the costs necessary to do business in this fashion, and we were able to use Mobile I/T technology as a competitive and strategic advantage to our firm. The cost of such security and administration was factored into our decision-making capability at the highest levels of the corporation.

          I/T had a job to do — protect us from our sins — but they were NOT expected to editorialize and gripe about doing it! Their job was SUPPORT — not to be the tail that wagged the dog!

          And yes — I’ve experienced both the conditions you’ve noted — from the I/T perspective, the User perspective (I did it myself), and from the Corporate Management Perspective. I deeply respect the work of our specialists who support the “warfighters” of our corporate “armies” — but let’s keep the roles straight, shall we?

        • #3128929

          Thank you – no thank you

          by t’nman ·

          In reply to Simplicity rules

          I don’t think anyone here has stated that the IT staff overrides management decisions. What we are trying to do is help each other glean some wisdom from those who have been in the trenches and have emerged with most of their fingers. Putting those who “WORK” in a different category than those who “ADMINISTER I/T” is a insult that probably slapped you in the face in your 10 years of I/T experience, and that was 25 years ago and it still stings, doesn’t it. There were no viruses, spyware, laptops, desktops 25 years ago. Just Big Blue and DEC, and WANG and a few jillion other companies that have gone under.
          It is unfortunate but a digruntled 14 with a jimmy can take your laptop out of your vehicle and by the time you figure out its gone so is your “knowledge”. Then you will have to put your I/T staff to work on restoring your knowledge center. Loss of productivity in time and dollars is not worth the Queen Mary filled to the rim with laptops.

      • #3128526

        Simplicity rules

        by rdpeters ·

        In reply to Why Worry

        The amount of brainpower expended on this thread far exceeds the cost of a few laptops. The major cost in any organization is its PEOPLE, not its hardware! And by that, I mean the people who WORK, not the ones who ADMINISTER I/T!
        Because the nature of work today is knowledge-centered, the faster and easier we can make it to have knowledge at our fingertips, 24/7/365, the more productive employees can be. THIS is the strategic advantage to a corporation.
        This blog is dominated by IT staffers; I was one for 10 years. For 25 years after that, I worked in the Operations, Marketing, R&D, Sales, and Engineering organizations of similarly large companies. Outside of the I/T department, access to information, anywhere, anytime, anyplace, is the determinant.

        If an employee needs it, they need it. Period. Not for I/T to Decide!!!!!

    • #3128538

      Laptop policy

      by dash53 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I work for a healthcare organization with 2400 employees and 1300 desktops. The policy for those requesting laptops is that 1) they must have cross-campus responsibilities; i.e., they travel to both hospitals and other offsite facilities and 2) the laptop has to be approved by Senior Administration.

      • #3128947


        by steven m. ·

        In reply to Laptop policy

        I use to work for a health care org. also and our policy in short was that if a individual wanted a laptop it had to be approved by ther departments senior mangement and the extra cost of the laptop came out of thier department budget and if lost or stolen replacement cost also came out of the individual department budget.

    • #3128537

      Laptop Policies – Business Continuity

      by attiec ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      As with all IT infrastructure, don’t embark on the implementation of a technology that you are not able to secure. Laptops should only be implemented in a way where the corporation can lock these down. This means encryption of data, restrictions on removable media, central asset management etc. This may be far too onerous for small companies to implement and may have you only supply laptops to people requiring the mobility as per some of the other responses.

      However, this said, there are strong motivations for organisations to view laptops as part of a business continuity strategy. I.e. all critical users to be issued with laptops which they MUST take with them when they leave the office. This linked with mobile accessible network topology and the necessary security measures in place, a way of continuing business operations in the event of a main site disruption.

    • #3128531

      Criteria for Laptop Allocation

      by cefuribe ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Please see below my response:
      1.Employee’s job require him to connect to the corporate LAN or WAN network while out of the office or commuting
      2.Employee’s job require him to make business presentations outside the office during trade shows, conferences,or to corporate clients.
      3.Employee’s job require him to facilitate traning programs outside the office
      4.Employee’s job is such an intellectual computer intensive job that require computing while out of the office e.g Software programmer. (Here, you need to be specific with what such jobs are in your organization)

    • #3128516

      Reply To: Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      by maelorin ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      laptops are portable. if you need portable computing – particularly convenient portable computing – there may be a case for a laptop. portability is useful inside buildings as much as outside of them. if a person moves about a lot, being able to take their computing resource with them can be a great enhancement to effectiveness.

      *but* they can be lost or stolen. they can be a target of espionage. they can be broken.

      appropriate training and education, policies and procedures *need* to be attached to every laptop in use in the business.

      laptops can free the worker, but the worker must be careful not to be too free with the asset.

      tie the desired asset to the business need. if the assest does not enhance the business function, it should be replaced with the asset which will. and the other way around.

      unless there is a clear business advantage, by which i mean the intended user will be more effective with it than without it, it is probably difficult to justify the added expense – and risk.

      that said, tablet pcs are cool, and can be awesome tools. if the user knows what they’re doing. they’re much more than a neat scribbling pad. [and i very much want one myself :)]

    • #3128515

      Mitigating risk

      by siberkhat ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      As with any mobile device, there is a certain amount of risk that must be recognized and steps taken to reduce the unavoidable vulnerabilities, both physical and logical. If the units are allowed to be removed from the site, then this adds another layer of users being accountable for the whereabouts and security of each unit during off-hours. I worked for an organization where any device, if it were in your vehicle fell under the following guidelines if your car was broken into to: if the device was not locked in your trunk, you are accountable for it and therefore must shoulder the cost of replacement. That is one small example of the physical risk.

      One of the obvious logical risks is the built-in wireless capabilities of most units. Try this little expirement with your own laptop:
      Do some drive-by diving and see how many wireless in-home routers are accessible from the street around your neighborhood. Multiply the number by a certain percentage of potential in-home workers who requested a laptop “because they were cool” (and got them), who were never provided with the instructions by their company to lock down the router by shutting off broadcasting.

      These examples are just a finite point on the pin head of what must be taken into consideration when planning a laptop/mobile/home worker environment or deployment. Please take a good look at the SANS Institute site at for extensive security information, checklists, best practices, and the like before making a move. Your manager has her wits about her but it needs to go a step or two further. In my humble and professional opinion…

      Have a great day.

    • #3128514

      In a similar boat

      by jaykier ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      i am now having the unsightly job of having to arrange, supply,train and support 35 mobile users who are all looking at fully mobile kit, scanners and printers from their own cars as well as the ability to work from home. other issues that have sprung up are internet usage and content to be viewed, also the persons personal usage of company property. we have gone with the concept of totally locking all laptops down even to the point of making sure that no one changes even the desktop image…yes i know it is a bit heavy handed but this has been an absolute saviour so far as all support calls have been able to be concluded quickly and efficiently especially as just me covering. if you do go the laptop route tight vnc is great as i am a mobile user and that gives me total remote support to fix any problems without having to get the end user involved apart from starting vnc.

    • #3128506

      The Key player

      by jocelyn.boyer ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Focus on people that are crucial to incoming revenue for the enterprise like:
      >Business representative (sale force the people in the field only not the sale director whom should work form the office)
      >The Support personnel for the IT side to be able to support remotely the IT organisation Architecture and e-activities
      >The workers that have to work remotely to speed the debugging of the systems
      >The main players in the Disaster Recovery plan.
      >>>No one that may put at risk the corporate data by their level of access to secure information.

      That it for this brief list. You should be help using your risk assessment on your corporate information and sensitive treat.
      Sorry French is my native language and it is early in the morning, so you will find the style a bit supprising and possibly mistakes in the text.

    • #3128504

      Same boat here too.

      by laurenceallwork ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I am currently going through the pain of remote/home users not wanting to use my nice secure dialup facility and wanting to use their home broadband. One problem so far is that the VPN encryption we are using will not traverse across certain ISPs systems. I am currently looking at controlling both the equipment and connections for mobile users.

    • #3128503

      Reasons for Issuing a Laptop

      by jesus.macatangay ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      – If the user is a VIP Manager
      – If the user is a traveling user (always on the move)
      – If the user is self-destruct and self-supporting, self-sufficient administrator kind of user.

    • #3128484

      Laptop Policy & Purchasing Guidelines

      by hobgoblin ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      By now you have realized that there isn’t one set of guidelines for issuing laptops or portable computing of any kind. You could easily draft a set based upon the wonderful suggestions made here but I would also add
      if the User travels or works out of office more than 25% of the time (or whatever percentage your company approves.)

      I was in a similar situation a few years back. The laptop became a “status symbol” and created headaches for our support team. Along with determining who gets a laptop should come guidelines on the care, use and securing of that laptop. Be sure to have management agree on the guidelines as they will be the ones you would defer to if an employee is disgruntled because they were turned down. You can also debate that the reason for implementing guidelines to limit who is qualified is that from a support standpoint, it can be more time consuming and costly to support and maintain portable devices. Not to mention the problems with securing (due to theft) and destruction (due to user lack of knowledge). You could always implement a “sign out” program. If a user isn’t approved for a laptop purchase, they could at least sign out one from the IT department for the short period of time needed. You could then take a few minutes at sign out to brief them on useage or security guidelines.

    • #3128479

      RE: Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      by iwdd7 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I believe you’re on the right track with your thought process and the criteria you are developing for the distribution of laptops.

      Obivously user that travel or otherwise spend time away from the office working are candidates to recieve laptops. For those users that travel rarely, you should have loaner equipment on-hand and ready to go at a moments notice.

      Senior management, as it’s defined by your organization, should have the option of either a desktop or a laptop.

      Other users within your organization should be able to recieve a laptop, if it will help them to be more efficient at their job. There should be an approval process that involves the senior manager from that department and the IT manager.

    • #3128476

      Reasons for a laptop

      by mikefromco ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      We have 30 employees, about 1/2 of whom have laptops. The majority of those are ‘field’ people that do things out of the office requiring a laptop. A couple are sometimes in the field though the laptops rarely leave, and the last one is mine, which is used for testing and remote access when I’m not in the office.
      Good reasons are:
      Field Use
      Travelling frequently
      Working from home

      Cons are:
      Computing value, less bang for the buck. And even then the least expensive laptop is more than a desktop.
      Keyboard/Mouse – A lot of users don’t like the laptop keyboard/pad.
      Security — Since they are out of the network, they require separate actions to prevent viruses,etc if you have a network malware solution.
      Potential for loss or damage and more expensive to repair.

      And a tablet adds even more cost, with little advantages to an average user unless they are running software specifically designed for the tablet.

    • #3128467

      Consistency and Extra Work

      by mihondo ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      The last time my company refreshed our PC’s, they decided to give EVERYONE a laptop UNLESS a desktop was really needed (ie they required a more powerful system). At first I wondered what they were smoking, but the decision has been proven to be wonderful.
      1) No more supporting “home systems”. People used to use their personal home pc’s to connect to work. Lots of support problems, virus issues, etc.
      2) VPN support provided. Security, etc.
      3) Take it to meetings – keep notes access data needed as the need arrises; shared pc’s in conference rooms just don’t make it. Tried it. Been there. Lousy solution.
      4) The company gets way more work done out of a whole lot of people that probably would not have done extra before.
      5) Ergonomics mandated an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard (we just kept the old ones to begin with), along with a docking station. That gave everyone the capability of having dual monitor (laptop screen + monitor).
      6) Mostly ONE platform to support.
      7) extra memory and accessories only as needed.
      8) small number of configuration available depending on how much you are connected or offline (synchronization options, etc.) . So roadies get more protection.

    • #3128455

      This is an Interesting discussion

      by cweb ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I’m currently working for a company that has gone all laptop (the exceptions are the accounting section-for obvious security concerns). I like it! We upgrade a user and in one move his keyboard, Monitor, mouse and computer has been replaced. This applies to users who do not travel as well.

      But to answer the question, in every place I have worked previously the criteria of who got a laptop was based solely on travel and executives. Meaning senior Managers and the Sales staff got them. And that was it.

      The mobility was the deciding factor. If they worked a certain percentage of their time out of the office, they got a laptop.

    • #3128450

      Please contact

      by jhomerski ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop


      We may be related, please send an email to

      John H.

    • #3128448

      Justification for Laptop

      by jwschull9 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I think you’ve already hit on the key points.
      1) Telecommuters, because 1 computer is cheaper than two.
      2) Executives, because they usually know no standard work hours… (i.e. they are non-standard telecommuters)
      3) Travel, because their job mandates a mobile office.

      Aside from that I’d also use their job performance ratings. And then there is always the workahaulic… You choose, give him a laptop and you will probably get even more work out of him.

      • #3129415


        by phlip_jones2003 ·

        In reply to Justification for Laptop

        Are you sure that workaholics are more productive or just in a flap about not keeping up with the rest….or worse, giving justification to some manager’s impossible time schedule?

        If something Im doing takes my interest then I will stay with it untill its done. Letting people work excessivly I think is a bad practice.

    • #3129098

      Suggestion (Computer Removing)

      by aliabdoh ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      With respect to all answers, I do suggest the following:

      Companies have to stop buying computer (desktops and laptops) for their employees, & alternating that budget with web based systems, or citrix licenses or online solutions with certificates thus allowing employees to access the company database/application with security coverage.

      Each employee has to bring his/her own personal laptop as his/her own mobile or pocket pc.

      Prices of laptops have decreased recently, no need to consider computers (desktops & laptops) in company budget as one of the factory production machines.

      Some employees such as graphic designers, or film makers need fast machines, company will take it on consideration and buy it as a production machine that shall have ROI.

      If employee can?t afford a laptop, company should help with a specific amount to be deducted from his income salary.

      By implementing the above, employee is responsible about his machine, and its performance. Company will be responsible about networks links, servers? performance and availability. Data will be in safe; network administrator won?t worry about each machine, and will save his efforts to company?s responsibilities.


      • #3129078

        I like the idea

        by cweb ·

        In reply to Suggestion (Computer Removing)

        I would prefer to use my own tools also. No one furnishes a Carpenter his tools, so why should I as a computer professional use someone elses?

        I would go so far as to set a minimum standard though. Otherwise some would get a PII because they don’t know any better.

        Maybe the company should have PC’s for certain staff (the receptionist for example) but all computer professionals should have their own system.

      • #3128863

        Yeah right, LOL…

        by brotherj ·

        In reply to Suggestion (Computer Removing)

        Or maybe you really are serious. Next you will be asking your employees to provide their own phone handset, or lights, or desk chairs or, or, well you get the idea.

        No matter what you say IT will be responsible for supporting any hardware brought onto the system. I found this out at my previous company when we were sending home VPN clients to access the network from home. Suddenly the helpdesk was responsible not only for the VPN client but for the problems that the user had with their Office97 importing Office 2k3 files. The helpdesk would get calls (responsible for in the user’s minds) for all sorts of PC problems that were only brought to light when trying to work on the company network.

        Let’s not even talk about the exposure due to having a VPN out to the user’s machine at home that is infected with Nimda or a host of other virus, trojans, spyware, keyloggers, etc.

        The best solution is to provide a standard equipment and software solution, control, and manage, the equipment and software.

        My solution is if you have people that travel a little or could even use a laptop at home give them one instead of a desktop. The purchase cost of a laptop is not that much more than the enterprise level desktops, and the purchase price is only a portion of the TCO anyway. Support is a much larger portion.

        Your idea would only be attractive to an organization trying to chisel the cost of doing business down at the worker’s expense. Be real, do you really thing the company is going to pay the employee an equivalent increase to purchase his own PC to put on his desk?

        I really don’t understand the angst at issuing laptops. I’ve done it for years in a large company (over 5000 employees) and had great results, but maybe I’ve just been dealing with unusually mature folks.

        • #3129419

          Buy your own?

          by phlip_jones2003 ·

          In reply to Yeah right, LOL…

          Working as an independant contractor my laptop is priceless. Even if I dont connect the thing up where Im working it does hold all my priceless routines that I can copy and use in my current work. If Im faced with a technical problem that Ive dealt with before and forgotten the solution, then the key is on this machine. It saves a ton of time and money.

          Its a beefy machine and even without the stuff on it likely to push most people’s budgets.

          I wouldnt expect employees to buy their own though Id have no problems if employees had a personal stake in the equipment they request to take home. Even if limited to a nominal insurance payment it gives them a stake in the kit and an incentive to look after it.

          Carpenters have their own tools because their tools tend to last a long time. There is a culture of pride in having their own tools which tends to be short lived with IT stuff. Three years is the average life for a pc, six months at best before its outdated. You cant say that about a hammer or a plane.

        • #3129304

          buy an own laptop – never

          by gennady ·

          In reply to Buy your own?

          IMHO, buying a laptop of your own is the worst possible option.
          Laptops cost more than desktops, are less powerful and loose value faster, practically becoming junk in two-three years. Repairs are more expensive, parts are more expensive and there are less replaceable parts. You never can upgrade it to faster CPU or replace a built-in modem or network card and memory upgrades are nomrally limited to one or two slots.
          In orther words, laptops are not designed to be bought with the personal money, they are build and marketed for companies.
          IMHO, it is a bad idea to buy a laptop for work use. If you really need it, the company should provide it.
          The exception is an independent professional, who needs this for his own work.

        • #3128438


          by aliabdoh ·

          In reply to Yeah right, LOL…

          Well, it seems there are many factors affecting the decisoin:
          Mostly, here are the main:
          1- Cost
          2- Support
          3- Security
          In all cases, company needs to assign standards to implement each

          Now there are some questions might appear?

          1- Does the company reduce the support & increase the security when it buys computers? or that could be accomplished by implementing the standards anyway?

          2- Suppose computers are owned by employess, and in case their machines have problems like office or what ever, how network administrators or technical supports should deal with them? as an outside customer, and might charge them, or as an employees in the company with free charges?

          If company alternated computers’ budget with remoting servers & remoting software[citrix], with best network performance and security supports, does this consider better or worse than applying that on computers in case it has bought them?



    • #3129096

      Laptop requirements

      by jbrummett ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      We are also less than 100 employees. We maintain a laptop pool of 4-6 laptops (some older) that individuals can check out as needed. Those that have laptops with docking stations vs. a desktop are individuals who have requested a laptop at least 12 times in the past year from the laptop pool and/or travel to the office outside of normal hours to do company work on a regular basis. Providing these users with a laptop allows these individuals more flexability and eliminates the need for some employees to work late evenings and/or weekends at the office when they can work from home or outside of the office.

    • #3129089

      to laptop or not laptop

      by philip_jones2003 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      If you want my laptop then youre going to have to remove it surgicaly. They are cool and when you pay for one out of your own pocket they also make you a bit paranoid. Its never left in my car or anywhere else where someone might decide to ‘use’ it.

      If your company can afford it then why not?

      I had a company laptop for nearly three years and protected it for what was kept on it rather than because of what it was. I did travel a lot and spent a deal of time hammering the keyboard while in transit.

      Can your company afford the loss of one or two? Quite possibly but what about the stuff on the disk? Whats it worth to someone else?

      If a laptop goes missing then how long before you can get a working replacement? Thats another machine, fully loaded with signon scripts, password prompts for your network etc?….oh and licence agreements.

      Half a day? Maybe.

      Are they actually going to be using the machines for work at home or on the train? Whats that extra ‘work’ worth to the company?

      Personally I discourage people from working at home. I have them for 8 hours a day and I plan with those 8 hours. When my people go home I want them to enjoy their families.

      and the internet? You want your people to go home and surf the web for things to turn up on the other side of your firewall?

      Do you have to convince the taxman they are being used for work? Or will they be a benifit in his eyes?

    • #3129081

      The laptop coin

      by jaredh ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I understand the business need for laptops and mobility. As part of the IT staff I have to have that mobility. There are people who work from home or may work at multiple sites at their companies and in those situations, laptops do make sense.

      The problem with laptops is support! I have several laptop users and when they take them home, they have little johnney play on them or the spouce thinks he can make it run better and ends up breaking it more. Then they come back and complain that the laptop doesn’t work. I know that we can enforce policies to help stop that, but in a mobile environment it is not always easy because policies and seurity will usually interfere with the business of why they have the laptop in the first place.

      Which way to go? who knows. I guess it depends on what is more important, security and leaving your job and work, or business and productivity and working anywhere you can.

      • #3128998

        and the answer is

        by alvin691 ·

        In reply to The laptop coin

        A policy that when any system fails for any reason that the computer will be mechanicly replaired and REIMAGED. No data recovery will be performed as all cirtical data must be stored on company server drives.

    • #3129060


      by akalich ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      The easy answer here is that laptops only go to frequent travelers. We’ve worked under that scenario for eons and it works.

    • #3129016

      Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      by rapwells ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      If someone travels they will need a laptop. If someone needs to do work outside of the company premisses they should be able to get a laptop. Only the people that are working outside of the company on business should recieve a laptop. The people working inside the office only needs a desktop to do there work. I would say anyone that has to do business work outside of the office should get a laptop, then I would ask and make sure it is only for work purposes only.
      Wells PC

      • #3128993

        Consider replacing desktops

        by keith_applegarth ·

        In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

        We started replacing desktops with docking stations and laptops two years ago. Especailly since the new laptops have more power than they did 3-4 years ago. We are on a 3 year replacement cycle (with 3 year warranties as well). It really makes sense when the user is a “road warrior” making site visits, off to conferences and yes, even working from home. We even went as far as buying wireless routers for thier home use. The staff that have this setup really loves it because it facilitates them getting their work done. And I like it as a techie because I only have one machine to support–not two. We do have a couple of loaner machines for the occasional traveler. I won’t even go into the security aspects because it goes without saying…

    • #3129015

      Justification for my laptop

      by ambalish ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      On a university campus mostly comprised of PC’s, the Macs I administer often get pushed aside when there are problems.

      Our network infrastructure guys have PC laptops so they can test problems around our campus on the different VLANs. I never felt I needed a laptop until I spent two weeks banging my head against a brick wall trying to convince the network team that a group of Macs in one of the departments had suddenly lost connection because of a change made in the wiring closet.

      When they changed out our switches, 6 Macs stopped getting IP connections. When the network guys plugged their PC laptops into the same jacks, however, they worked fine so they insisted it was a problem with the Macs. It took two weeks of fighting with them and finally lugging my desktop Mac over to the wiring closet and plugging it in there to convince them that there was a problem with one particular switch when Macs were plugged into it. I was so furious, I stormed into my boss’s office and insisted I needed a Mac laptop because of situations like this. If I had one that first day, the users wouldn’t have been dead in the water for two weeks.

      Although I don’t use mine often, it’s important that I have it when I absolutely need it.

    • #3128992

      Laptop Rules at my Company

      by mark.a.smith ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      We Only provide laptops for the sales staff (not Assistants), Managers and the IT staff.Sales need to present presentations to customers and travel locally (every day) as well as other states (sometimes). The managers get them because they will often work from home or need access to the office or E-mail while traveling. IT staff because we also do some travel between offices and it makes it easier for troubleshooting problems. You just take your with you. You know it works correctly.If I am out of the office at another location or even home for the night I can easily remote into where the problem is and resolve the issue most of the time without even needing to be there. The typical user will not need to remove the computer from the office. If there is an occasion that a user needs to work from home or take work home to finish up then have a loner laptop or 2 available for the user to sign out for the evening and return the next morning. Use an older laptop so they prefer to work from their faster desktop computer. They won’t think the laptop is so “Cool” any more.

    • #3128983

      Disaster Preps

      by geauxfan ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina it became apparent that our key-decision makers, i.e., those manning our command center as well as our security force at the perimeter accesses, have to be the first in the future to receive laptops and those laptops have to have wireless capability. In a real disaster, such as we lived through, the people in charge have to be able to pick up and move the entire command-and-control organization to an alternate location when the water rose, lights/airconditioning went out and generators were shaky. Right now we are looking at who in each operating area (Food, Facilities, Medical, Nursing, IT, Finance, Security, etc.) has to have a laptop and be charged with the responsibility of having it ready to go with the latest information when an emergency situation occurs.

      • #3128896

        Yes! Disaster Preperation

        by aaron20 ·

        In reply to Disaster Preps

        I am surprised that this point has hardly been mentioned so far.

        This is the main reason that we are replacing all desktops with laptops. In the case of a catastrophe, we will be able to set up a working infrastructure very quickly with all our employees (about 10).

    • #3128966

      Laptop Envy

      by purecoffee ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I can understand your position. In our small company we give most of our associates laptops as they are able to produce more. So this is an advantage to the firm. The important things to think about are compatibility issues with current software, as well as some sort of support compatibility. As an example, I recently spoke directly with at least a dozen manufacturers of laptop computers to determine which ones were best. Then I had our Director of IT give each attribute a score from 1-5. Total score was given and from our business perspective, support, experience Dell Latitudes came out on top. One of our biggest factors was a built in microphone. So one thing could make or break a deal.
      Does this help?

    • #3128948

      Act VERY VERY quickly

      by mpage ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      My advice?? Nip this in the bud IMMEDIATELY!

      I work at a location that sounds very much like yours. It is truely funny to me watching users fight to have better tech than the next office, and then call because they can’t figure out how to use it.

      If you don’t put a stop to this “competing with the Jones'” rubbish you’ll find it hard to back out of later. Not only is this going to increase the money your company spends on useless tech (is there such a thing?), but the cost of supporting your users will also rise.

      Not to mention is this (IMHO) one of the largest security risks you could undertake.

      My suggestions:
      Laptops should only be issued to users that travel. This list should include the execs that are expected to work 365 days a year; a list that should be provided by the top.

      All laptops should be IDENTICAL. Take my advice, make sure of this if nothing else or you’ll be sorry.

      I have a lot of horror stories I could share with you. If you want feel free to contact me offline.

    • #3128903

      Is there dust on the top of the laptop?

      by mcarson ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      1. Whats your yearly budget? (How many can you afford?)
      2. How many days per month will it be taken off site? If less than 4 days a month you may consider using checkout laptops!
      3.If theres dust on the top of the laptop after you purchase it for someone, give them a desktop next time!

    • #3128894

      What not to do

      by sam ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I worked for a large organization and I was involved in a rollout of a company wide upgrade of all their PC’s both laptops and desktops. Looking at a map of the office layout it was obvious that only the corner offices (management) were to recieve laptops. As a project manager (no corner office) and developer I requested a laptop to use for demos in the meeting rooms which did not have any type of PC at all. I had to document a justification for this request and I spent several hours creating the document. My arguements were simple and related to the fact that I could not crowd everyone into my cube to demo my apps so I needed a laptop to use in the meeting rooms. In the end my request was flatly denied with no reason given. I’m sure it would have upset the apple cart because I would have been the only non-manager to have a laptop. (ie. no corner office = no laptop).

      My point is that issuing laptops should be based on a need not a symbol of status. If you think about it, only those who use the laptop outside of the office need a laptop (ie. 24 hour support staff or a manager who really does work in the evenings or on weekends). It can actually save your company money to issue 1 laptop rather than buying 2 desktops; 1 for work and 1 for home.

      Packing up a laptop to bring home every night is a pain so only those who really need one will pack it up. So the litmus test is to walk around the office at 8 pm on Friday and see who left their laptop on their desk. If the laptop is there they likely don’t need it.

      • #3129391

        no laptop means…

        by mgoldman ·

        In reply to What not to do

        I have an experience similar to yours. I also intended to share the laptop for conference room and business trip use.

        For me no laptop means:
        less collaboration potential with my colleagues in the conference rooms;
        no tele commute/work from home potential;
        no chance I’ll be working off hours / extra hours from home;
        no ability to work or at least return emails on the ocassions when I am out on business.

        Its a forest for the trees thing.

    • #3128804

      Laptop pros and cons

      by doke ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I’ve talked to a number of people in the municipal government, the opinion is that laptops are twice the price, three times the support for 1/2 the performance of desktops. Yet a necessary evil. The biggest issue to consider with laptops is the security risk. Once they leave your network they are more vulnerable to viruses and spyware, etc. When they bring them back inside your network and plug them in they can spread the infection inside your firewall. We are working on setting up a quarantine area that will take all computers that have been off the network and run them through patching, virus updates, spyware checks, etc. before they can come on the network. Wireless is built into most laptops. It is difficult to prevent laptops from connecting up to wireless access points, without limiting the value of having wireless access in the first place.

    • #3128781

      Keep it simple

      by james.kritselis ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I thought about that question just a few weeks ago and this is what I came up with after stressing over it. first are they a power user or a document style user (this answers the hardware expense end of the notebook choice)? Not only travel is an issue at this point but do they have any real need to work anywhere other than their office space also do they need to be wireless in the office or anywhere else for that matter maybe the conference room for a quick demo, also can they replace their workstation with a docking station releaving the workstation for someone else who might have an older pc? (saving money on workstation bosses like that)I made a pros and cons list and when i was done basically the bottom line was will they be more or less productive and could buying a notebook pc actually make or save the company money. we all know everyone wants to watch a movie on the plane or play solitaire in bed but, in the end it comes down to can it be justified. hope this helps.

    • #3129377

      re: Justification…

      by rheypads ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Pros: (Mobility)
      1. Portable & Handy
      2. Wireless Network Ready
      3. Space Saving

      Cons: (Cost!)
      1. Upgrade limitations
      2. Higher cost of ownership (more expensive to repair)
      3. Can easily get lost

      Pros: (Reliability & Security)
      1. Easily upgradable
      2. Cheaper – more power with your money
      3. Can easily run most recent apps
      4. Can be easily secured

      Cons: (Space)
      1. Needs big space
      2. cannot be easily moved

      The type of PC is sometimes determined by the type of user the requires it. I suggest that you create a list of tasks assigned to the user to better determine the type of PC that he needs.

      Again, all these can be easily superseded by your company’s willingness to spend extra money for something that a user wants.

      Your hardware allocation (IT budget) will be a big factor in deciding whether you will give a user what he “wants” instead of what he really “needs”.

    • #3129375

      Ask two questions

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Do the user’s job responsiblities require network or computer access at locations where a physical connection to your corporate network is not possible?

      If the answer is no, this user probably does not require a laptop. If the answer is yes, a laptop may be justified. Now ask the second question: does the business need justify the risk to the network of a remote connection?

      Keep in mind that for people who only need a laptop for a few days a month/year, it can be more economical to buy three or four laptops and sign them out/in as required. Build images for each job function that will be signing laptops out. Create the most restrictive profile possible that allows users to do the job. Image each machine when you sign it out, and when they are signed back in, synchronize the files with the network and wipe the drive. DO NOT allow remote acess unless absolutely necessary, and then only through an encrypted VPN.

      In the end, it all depends on the corporate culture and the IT department (you!). In one job, I thought I would get a laptop because I was required to travel between three different corporate locations, but we were a Novell shop with a tight-fi$ted CIO, so all I got was a roaming profile and a thumbdrive!

    • #3129374

      watch the trends…

      by wrathchild ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      regarding security issues and laptops…the old saying goes “locks keep honest people honest” Anyways, if one was to watch the current industry trend, one would see that laptops are fast becoming a standard as opposed to a privelege. Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, for example, has been shifting to ALL laptops, phasing out their desktop PC’s. from what I gather, any employee whom currently has a PC will eventually have their peripherals and a docking station at their desk. Seeing as how LMFS is one of many government contractors, what does that say about security risks? Just a thought…

    • #3129372

      Laptop Request Guidlines

      by lambe_m ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      should define a process based on the following.
      frequent Traveller.
      Field Person – eg. Sales Guy, Marketing executive.
      Increased Job load – where in a user needs to work from home also. Will also include IT persons who need to monitor the network, administer the systems from Home…etc

    • #3129349

      Justification for Laptop

      by mjohannes ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      The case is : someone want to upgrade from laptop to tablet.

      The justification is :
      1. Laptop is not suitable anymore for his workload
      2. If the laptop is more than 3 years old
      3. Laptop is broken/damage

      Laptop request Guideline:
      1. Function
      2. Is Budgetted
      3. Mobile worker (Sales/Managers/Executives/ Engineers)
      4. They will take any risk anything happen to company properties (my last challenge to user)

      For me, I prefer Desktop since i dont bring work at home and the responsibility of having Laptop is bigger than Desktop. USB Flash Disk is far more important for me when I have a meeting or if i am the meeting chairman, I will use my personal PIII 700 Dell laptop.

      My company standard is Managers up to Director must use Laptop. With exception for those staff who mobile.

    • #3129328

      company rules

      by lgualteri ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Hi everyone,

      I absolutely agree that having laptops improves employees productivity as they can work from home. I am a great fan of this.

      Unfortunately I work for a company that has put in place so many policies and rules about information security that now employees are scared of having a laptop in their hands.
      Basically, if the laptop gets stolen it is always the employees fault ….. and the company charges the employee for the cost of replacing the lost item with a new one.

      Anybody else is subjected to the same paranoid rules ?

      • #3129305

        Reply To: Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

        by mjohannes ·

        In reply to company rules

        I do objected by myself to having company laptop. I rather give it to my staff or others, as they probably need more than I do. Is the risk of lost/damage that I dont want to deal off, eventhough any risk is covered by insurance company.

    • #3129326

      Mobility & data Acess

      by zealbca59 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I think there is only one categories where a lap top should be granted or not.
      1) The entity usually travels as the call of work. Mobility & easy access to his files for business deals.
      2) Office bound employee does not necessarilly need company’s lop top.

    • #3129291

      Seriously ..

      by stargazerr ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Why would anyone want a laptop when they can have a desktop??

      A desktop is far more easy to upgrade and handle ..

      The only reason for choosing laptops over desktops would .. they look cool and are expensive (show offs)


      • #3126966

        You know ….

        by jc2it ·

        In reply to Seriously ..

        … I think you make a very good point. Having worked on mostly desktops, it is a huge time saver to not have to unscrew 10 microscopic torx head screws, remove the keyboard, and mousepad to pull out a bad HD.

        I can swap out a desktop HD in less than 10 minutes, and have it re-imaged in 30, and back on the desk in under an hour. Try that with most laptops.

    • #3129209

      Give them to everyone!

      by dave_callaghan ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      In 1997 I left an academic institution which had a laptop requirement for all students since 1985 (Anyone remember the HP 110?) and joined a company where laptops were only for field sales. The IT department was constantly bombarded by last minute requests for laptops from users needing to do work over the weekend or going to some event off site. The labor was killing us.

      I proposed an all laptop policy after doing a pilot test with an inside sales group and found that we were getting on average 6 more hours per week of work out of the employees for no additional pay. Management liked the idea that for a relatively small premium for a laptop we could get additional productivity.

      The issue became at what level do you stop? The conclusion: avoid politics and give them to everyone. Mind you we do not supply docking stations, keyboards, mice or LCD monitors (why would you? The laptop already has a 14-15″ screen which is more than enough for personal use).

      Users are expected to lock their laptops in their desks before going home. We’ve done spot checks and after some well publicized “thefts” where we took unattended machines down to the IT lab, compliance has been 100%.

      We also built into the policy a guaranteed replacement. Users were split into two groups: those that were customer facing and would have thier machines replaced every other year (got to make them look good) and then everyone else (which included me as the VP of IT, my boss and many others at the top). With this plan there was no more “food chain” where a manager would say replace mine then give mine to my assistant and give his to …. It also allowed us to budget long term.

      The laptops for everyone (including the kid in the mailroom), has worked very well for the last 8 years and I will bring the plan to my next company.

    • #3129148

      Justification for laptop

      by cherokee_tribute ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I can answer that somewhat because I have both and I don’t travel. I just wanted one. I don’t know about you, but I can cover my desk with files, assignments, newspapers, mail faster than anyone I know. A laptop for me is a space saver. I don’t need a separate monitor or keyboard and I can mess my desk up even more with files assignments, newspapers and mail, etc.
      And when I’m done on the computer, I can just close the thing up and I have even more room. They are a lot more convenient in that way. My problem then is the GB’s. I don’t know how big it comes in a laptop. I bought mine a year and a half ago and I got 40GB. My other computer had 180 GB plus swap drives. I do a lot of graphics and photos so my laptop needs an external drive or lots and lots of DVD’s as I have 30GB of pictures that I edit. Of course, an external comes in handy, but then you run into the expense of that plus now your desk is getting busier with equipment. Other than clearing space by using a laptop versus a desktop, there doesn’t seem to be much justification for a laptop unless they want to take work home with them.
      Just my thoughts.

    • #3126879

      Justify desktops

      by martin_ternouth ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I directed a project for a very large (100,000+ staff)
      multinational where there were no desktops anywhere except for
      specialist departments that required intensive processing power
      that had to be justified. Everyone had a laptop and a dock. The
      time saved in internal meetings where everyone could share
      documents electonically was an offset against the additional
      cost. There was also the advantage of communications between
      different time-zones where one side was at work and the other
      was at home. With laptops in universal use, connection
      protocols and processes had to be simplified – thus magnifying
      the advantages even more.

    • #3127806

      Entitlement policy

      by dkerta ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      I have the same situation, finally decide to develop a draft policy but it still open some lack of personal justification. At least, my boss see the general condition to accomodate Laptop request, and in case the presure is to hard my boss will be able to say – “hey, this is policy from the IT manager. If you don’t happy with my justification, talk to my IT manager”

      Entitlement policy:
      1. Working environment required the employee to move from one location to another location or travell often.
      2. Employee need to create/update/change company information propery: to support system infomration remotely to ensure the business process run as expected.
      3. Employee need to representing the company on customer site with a standard technology presentation.

      Also, I am preparing Laptop check-in/check-out mechanism in case there’s a request temporary to borrow a laptop.

      The other challenge I have is defining Laptop specification base on users working behaviour. I have splited into 3 category:
      1. Standard, multi media 14″ screen
      2. Moderate, Multi media 15″ screen, extra USB
      3. Advance, multi media, extra USB and finger print

    • #3128128

      Laptops – too much hassle

      by angry_white_male ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      1. Road Warrior
      2. Executive or other important person who travels / works a lot at all hours of the night.

      Otherwise, we keep a few older laptops for the “check-out” crowd who needs one while they’re travelling for work or have to head down the road to do a presentation.

      Otherwise, for the average employee, a laptop is a luxury that’ll sooner or later get lost, stolen, abused, broken, infected. Too many risks, very little return. I’ve seen my share of company laptops clogged up with spyware, games for their kids, etc… where it was clear that their dire “need” for a laptop was nothing more than a status symbol or personal playtoy.

      I had a laptop at my last job and while it was nice, it was a pain in the ass in that I had to lug the damn thing around everywhere I went (we couldn’t leave laptops at work). I’m a network administrator (soon to be manager) and I have a desktop.

      If I need to work at home, I just VPN in and remote desktop to my work PC. If I need to hit the road, I bring along my $250 eBay used laptop and VPN/remote desktop to work or home so if that gets FUBAR’ed, I’m only out $250 and not $2,500.

      Besides, I’ve had my share of 10:00 PM calls from someone at a hotel 10 states away trying to check their e-mail and they can’t get the network connection at their hotel room working and they expect me to fix it.

      I appreciate that laptops can increase productivity for certain employees… but you must also consider applicable labor laws in your area (is someone working from home on the clock and entitled to overtime?), security risks, and the level of support required to get someone up and running when they’re away from the mothership and can’t get an IP address for any one of many reasons.

      If you have someone burning the midnight oil at home, set them up with VPN that’s easy for the average Joe to install and have them access their work PC via remote desktop / terminal services / Citrix… or even allow them to connect to their work PC via something like GoToMyPC, LogMeIn, etc. These services can be centrally managed and leave your network less exposed to the exploits of a clueless employee who happened to leave his logon credentials on the back of the business card in the laptop case that was stolen from the airport while he went to get a cup of coffee from the Starbucks kiosk.

    • #3126504


      by aliabdoh ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      …. Continue on Computer Removing

      Well, it seems there are many factors affecting the decisoin:
      Mostly, here are the main:
      1- Cost
      2- Support
      3- Security
      In all cases, company needs to assign standards to implement each to accomplish the best

      Now there are some questions might appear?

      1- Does the company reduce the support & increase the security when it buys computers? or that could be accomplished by implementing the standards anyway?

      2- Suppose computers are owned by employess, and in case their machines have problems like office or what ever, how network administrators or technical supports should deal with them? as an outside customer, and might charge them, or as an employees in the company with free charges?

      3- If company alternated computers’ budget with remoting servers & remoting software[citrix], with best network performance and security supports, does this consider better or worse than applying that on computers in case it has bought them?


    • #3126370

      Cost Reduction

      by tkerber ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Part of our justification for giving laptops to employees is that it can reduce support costs. Currently we have several staff members who are assigned 2 desktops, one for work and one for home. Since our support is charged on a per desktop basis we can effectively cut support costs in half for these individuals. Our desktop support unit also prefers laptops since it simply cuts down the amount of machines they need to maintain.

    • #3129947

      Laptop vs. Desktop

      by dougcs-prsrx ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      This situation always comes up at company, as well and I always looked at the travel requirements for each user and determined that if they travel less than 30% of the time then it’s not worth the investment. I even have cases where certain directors have laptops just because the president does, but they sit on their desk when they’re out of the office. These are the cases they drive network administrators/managers crazy because the technology is not being utilized properly, especially for someone that travel 75% of the time. Go figure!!!

      Doug Smith
      IT Coordinator
      PRS Pharmacy Services

    • #3129870

      Laptop dilemma

      by 1ieengle ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Tell these people if they want a laptop that it does not come with floppy, dvd, and all the bells and whistles. In other words make it so restrictive that they will not want it, after you explain to them what they have to deal with. If they need all this stuff to do their work they cannot logically get the laptop.

    • #3125887

      Policy I wrote recently…..

      by abarnes70 ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Here is a copy of the ‘Laptop Determination Policy’ I drafted a couple of months ago. It was later signed off by my management, which was a good thing, and they seem to be going to bat with it so far.


      The aim of this policy is to provide a framework for the determination of hardware procurement for users; specifically, to assist management in deciding whether a user should receive a laptop or desktop computer.

      The decision to purchase a laptop computer over a desktop computer should remain with the business, in particular the manager of the intended user. However, this policy aims to provide the information necessary to make that decision.

      Desktop vs Laptop Computers

      Desktop computers, generally speaking, are faster, easier to maintain and support, and have a greater realistic longevity than a laptop of equivalent price. They have greater upgrade prospects and are a much lower risk of loss or theft.

      Laptop computers, on the other hand, are certainly more convenient owing to their mobility, but that mobility comes at a price; components such as hard disks that are made to be smaller and lighter are necessarily slower as a result. They are also more expensive than equivalent desktop computers due to the following tangibles and intangibles:

       larger initial capital investment
       additional investment for peripherals and accessories (docking stations, bags, extra power adapters etc)
       extended warranty (if purchased) is more expensive than for an equivalent desktop
       each laptop has to be added to the business insurance policy
       shorter realistic life span requires more frequent purchasing
       higher level of support
       longer downtime for an equivalent repair
       greater risk of theft
       greater risk of sensitive data being exposed


      In many cases where it would be more convenient for a user to be able to take work home, the optimal solution would be the purchase of a desktop computer to be installed in the home of the user, perhaps at a pro-rated sharing of cost between the user and the business.

      The prime requisite for the purchase of a laptop should be the amount of travel or working off-site (i.e. out of the office and not at home) a given user will undertake throughout the life of that laptop. For example, a user who visits other businesses or patients regularly would be a good candidate, as would a user who spends weeks away at a time while travelling.


      It is the recommendation of this policy that a user could qualify as a laptop user by spending more than days working away from the office per year, or who visits other business or patients off-site more than five (5) times per month.

      • #3080512

        Thanks for the sample guidelines!

        by demroyer ·

        In reply to Policy I wrote recently…..

        Thanks for sending along these guidelines! The document I crafted for my company is very similar to this (and was based on a lot of suggestions from this discussion thread), so it’s nice to be able to compare it to another existing policy.

        Here is a copy of the “Laptop Eligibility Requirements” document I submitted (the formatting is probably off-kilter, but you get the idea):

        This document outlines the various scenarios that would justify the need for a laptop PC rather than a desktop PC. Ideally, employees should meet at least one or more of these criteria in order to be eligible for a laptop. These eligibility requirements have been compiled from various IT best practice documents, as well as advice from other IT professionals.

        1. Travel ? If an employee is required to travel on a regular basis for business or routinely performs work off-site. Please note, the term ?off-site? refers to public locations or other businesses, not working from home.

        2. Telecommuting ? If an employee is set up as a telecommuter (i.e. working out of their home on a permanent basis).

        3. After Hours Support ? If an employee is required to provide regular after hours support that may need to be performed either at home or on the road.

        4. Disaster Recovery Responsibilities ? If an employee is required to maintain data or applications on their primary computer so that they could function as an offsite ?disaster recovery? system.

        5. Technology Requirement ? If an employee has a special technology need that can only be fulfilled by a laptop (i.e. a technician that has to directly connect to devices on a factory floor, a salesman who has to give public presentations, a user who requires Tablet technology, etc.)

        In order to apply for a laptop, an employee must first receive approval from their direct manager, who is responsible for ensuring that the employee has a genuine business need for a laptop. In addition, the IT manager must sign off on the purchase to ensure that the purchase falls within the hardware budget and meets the eligibility requirements. Once approved, the IT department will purchase a laptop appropriate for the user?s specific needs, and will configure the laptop for use.

        Please note, the Company has purchased a number of ?loaner? laptops which can be checked out by employees for temporary use. In addition, several dedicated laptops are used by the rotating on-call technical staff when providing after hours support.

        For more information about deciding on whether a laptop is an appropriate choice, please read the following excerpt from a trade magazine article which defines some of the pros and cons of laptops:

        The Pros And Cons Of Laptops

        There are an increasing number of people who now work out of the office, are on the move or travel a lot. The market for laptops has been steadily growing and is likely to continue. However, while notebook PCs look good and can be convenient, you might get better value from investing in a desktop PC. Consider the following Pros and Cons before deciding what type of computer to buy.

         Notebook PCs are generally more expensive
        Whilst they have come down in price, they are still significantly more expensive, if you want reasonable power and memory.

         Notebooks generally have a shorter life cycle
        Desktop PCs have comparably fewer malfunctions and performance issues over their lifecycle.

         Notebook PCs are more prone to theft or breakage
        There are serious security issues associated with carrying a laptop around. Leave it alone for a few seconds and it’s gone. Also, it’s easy to drop or throw it carelessly in the car. Warranties have improved but they will probably not cover simple slips, let alone habitual carelessness.

         Notebook PCs generally require more complex support
        Due to the fact that notebooks often need to connect to multiple network environments (like the office, home, hotel, etc.), have varying hardware profiles (docked, undocked, wired, wireless, removable drives, etc.), and are frequently away from the corporate network during normal after-hours maintenance windows, notebooks tend to cause higher support and training overhead than a desktop PC.

         If you work with graphics and digital media, a notebook PC may not be the best option
        Desktop PCs will generally have higher speed and power for the same dollar value.

        By this stage, you’re probably thinking it’s not worth buying a laptop. But there are number of reasons that you might consider buying a laptop over a desktop PC.

         Portability is a huge advantage
        The ability to leave the office early, finish a project at home, complete a presentation on the airplane or in the hotel room and check emails and schedules remotely can save you time and money.

         Notebook PCs have come down in price and you are getting more for your money
        Average prices have been significantly lowered in the last few years and many commercial models now have better features, such as higher processor speed, more RAM and hard disk space. They have also improved in terms of weight and screen size.

         Wireless advancements have improved network access for people on the move
        Through wireless PC Cards, laptops can more easily connect to internal networks, anywhere, anytime. For example, a major announcement can be sent from a hotel room to every user in your company.

         Notebooks can easily be used both in and out of the office
        Many people are now choosing to use their laptop both in and out of the office and laptops can easily be connected to a larger monitor or keyboard, depending on your needs.
        Compared with Desktop PCs, the configurations for Notebooks are almost the same, as well as the processor speeds and graphic capabilities. If you need all your information and work at your fingertips whilst you are on the move, a Laptop is the way to go. You could pay a little extra, but then again, you might be leaving the office early!

    • #3095227

      Who’s decision?

      by jsamuelson ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      Personally I would find it a bit strange if management asked me to create the criteria for mobile computing approval. If it were me, I would do the following:
      -Provide documentation on which laptop would be best suited for which department, with pricing based on the maximum number of units.
      -Provide documentation on infrastructure to accomodate secure roaming and remote network access (VPN, WAP, added security measures, etc.)
      -Provide overall cost analysis, including pros and cons.

      Is management asking you for advice on whether or not they should approve laptop requests, and for whom? It would seem more appropriate to me to help them by providing the tools necessary to make that decision. Personally I feel the only reason to deploy laptops is the need for mobility, but in today’s world more companies are deploying work-from-home strategies, so perhaps this is an opportunity for you to help your company to join in this future of mobile computing?


    • #2967215

      Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      by jesusmacatangay ·

      In reply to Justification for receiving a laptop instead of a desktop

      1. MUST be a travelling user;
      2. MUST either be a VIP Manager or a Senior Manager; mid-class and first-level managers not to have a laptop;
      3. In case of engineers going to vessels, this can be provided only if the vessel is not the same Company you worked with.

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