“What would help the most is to eliminate both the dependency on expensive commercial software and also eliminate the company-owned computer. If, like master mechanics in machine shops, the employee owned his or her own tools, none of this would be an issue. That means the company would require its knowledge worker to purchase specific tools and he or she would then own them. A company store could sell these products and even buy them back at the end of an employment period.”
The Software Police and Your Company
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2005-10-21 12:49 pmhalfmanhalfamazing
I agree with your point(good point) but with IT, the employer would set standards.
Here’s what you’re interfacing with, here’s a basic requirement for productivity.
2005-10-21 1:55 pmAnonymous
While you make very good points, I have already run into companies adopting similar policies.
For instance, a company that does insurance adjustment required digital cameras be purchased by the adjusters with their own money. They provided a set of poorly thought-out specs for those cameras and a date by which everyone was to have them.
There were rumblings about next requiring employees to work from home with their own computer equipment loaded with some of the company’s software. Telco including voice & data would be provided by the ’employee’.
With many companies cutting costs by using contractors, the idea of having ’employees’ provide their own equipment –hardware & software– is not so far fetched. There are many problems that are unforseen by dim-witted management, but that won’t stop them from trying this.
While these ‘tools’ do not have the long durable life, that isn’t the company’s problem. They’ll only care that the work gets done. This may be a quick way to get short-term bottom-line results.
2005-10-21 2:48 pmAnonymous
“There were rumblings about next requiring employees to work from home with their own computer equipment loaded with some of the company’s software. Telco including voice & data would be provided by the ’employee’.
With many companies cutting costs by using contractors, the idea of having ’employees’ provide their own equipment –hardware & software– is not so far fetched. There are many problems that are unforseen by dim-witted management, but that won’t stop them from trying this.”
The words you’re looking for are Telecommuting and Home-Business. Personally I wouldn’t mind. A home-based business is one of the few ways left to making it in the US. Plus I get to call the shots. Businesses no longer can provide job security, and now they can’t even provide pensions, insurance, or any of the other benefits. So one might as well go the rest of the way, and cut the cord. Let them provide the one thing their good at…money. We do the rest.
2005-10-21 11:45 pmAnonymous
I agree. Let me stay at home and get my work done.
I’d much rather have a linux box that I could bring in that would be much more stable and secure than have to go into work and be forced to use windows or macs.
But most businesses wouldn’t go for this as alot of people don’t take care of their windows based machines and would bring in machines that are infected with something.
2005-10-22 2:33 amAnonymous
hey, I know you
you are a karlsruher Student, who began informatic studies on 2001 with Abeck.
Where’s the fire?
The way the law is set up with the license agreements companies are inviting this sort of aggravation. It’s nothing new. Any company that decides to use commercial software when readily available cheaper (free!) alternatives are available is simply asking for trouble unless they are very careful
How much is aggravation worth in the total cost of ownership scheme of things.
Yeah, people bringing their own computer will work, sure it will.
Think of the people you know that aren’t computerphiles. Then think about their computer. Think of Windows, think of viruses and spyware. Then think about putting that computer, along with the other 100, 1000, or 10000 people’s malware-infested computers together on a network. Then figure out how to get some work done. The main vector I’ve seen for attack on a network is someone bringing a laptop (company-controlled or otherwise) in and plugging it into your network.
The difference here is a master mechanic knows how to use and maintain his tools. As such, the only real solution for business computing is to lock people’s computers down as much as possible. Anything else and you’re spending a ton of time spinning your wheels fix problems caused by users with admin access.
First problem is risk. Most companies do not want to risk the security of their network to what may be on a ‘home computer’ and most IT departments know full and well that most computer users are not trained to maintain their hardware/software.
Second is if this did come to pass it would be nothing more than a way for companies to screw employees over and stick them with a large part of the “cost of doing business”
Some of the software business runs is not cheap. I could just see the look on a few faces when they are told they need to purchase a $10,000 license to a copy of an expensive proprietary application that is required for work.
lol. keep dreaming.
2005-10-22 4:24 amJLF65
I could just see the look on a few faces when they are told they need to purchase a $10,000 license to a copy of an expensive proprietary application that is required for work.
Exactly. Imagine you’re a programmer making a game for the PS2. Now imagine having to shell out $20,000 for the PS2 development kit. That doesn’t include a pricey 3D modeler program, or expensive motion capture equipment, etc., etc..
Now if the company pays me (cost of equipment + salary) a year and advances (cost of quipment) up front, I’ll buy my own equipment. No problem.
2005-10-22 4:48 amAnonymous
“Exactly. Imagine you’re a programmer making a game for the PS2. Now imagine having to shell out $20,000 for the PS2 development kit. That doesn’t include a pricey 3D modeler program, or expensive motion capture equipment, etc., etc.. ”
Why buy when you can rent?
There’s one good benefit of there being more “independent contractors”. Lower costs on things like insurance (of all kinds), healthcare, even office supplies. Why? Because the present setup hides the true costs of a lot of things. Quick! How many people know how much their employer pays for their health insurance? Office supplies? Nothing like the downward force on costs of “out of pocket”. Combine this with the present “pooling” we presently see amoungst SOHO’s, and there’s a bit of leverage there.
Goin with open source also reduces risk and costs of vendor dependencies and let you pick vendor basend on how well they can align IT with yout business strategy instead of their power to allow or disallow access to you information and technology.
There’s an obvious problem in comparing ownership of computers, much less software, with the tools owned by a master mechanic or other skilled craftsman. Computers and software are designed by the vendors to be obsolete as quickly as possible, so they can continue to make money by selling replacements and upgrades. A set of SnapOn wrenches on the other hand, are a lifetime investment, backed by a lifetime warranty, and can easily be passed own from generation to generation. My set of 35 year old combination wrenches still work just fine and do a job worth doing.
An IBM XT personal computer at a mere twenty years old on the other hand, has no value in the business world, and is nothing more than a historic artifact akin to whale-oil lamps and about as useful.
The oldest computer I’ve personally owned was a Vax from DEC capable of a screaming 1 MIPS performance level, and it ended it’s useful life as a pool-side bar dispensing cans of barley beverages until it finally rusted out. The sole element of that computer surviving today is the 8″ hard drive platters, which have been re-purposed as a set of hurricane chimes.
If I would have paid for that POS, I would be greviously disappointed.