Will there come a time - or has the time actually already arrived - when employers may simply require employees to use their own personal computers rather than one the company provides? IT Business Edge dives in with a long analysis of the pros and cons of employee-owned computers. First off, why is this happening? 1) Workers want to bring their consumer experience with computing into the workplace. 2) More people than ever work from home or from the road. 3) There are a lot of old corporate machines out there, and IT budgets have been too tight to replace them. 4) Companies are looking to cut costs in ways they might not have considered before. In one Gartner survey, 40 percent of IT managers said they have some kind of policy governing use of employee-owned computers. Citrix Systems is one such business. As a company spokesperson put it, "All we were doing was formalizing and controlling this - and promoting it. People are happier, we think there's less risk - and we think there's financial savings in it for Citrix." Today, IBET says, 10 percent of workers use their own computers, usually notebooks, and the number will climb to 14 percent by the middle of next year. That's true at Citrix. While 20 percent of its employees expressed interest in the program, so far only about 10 percent take part. Still, there are issues to be worked through. For example: 1) If the company pays $1,000 toward a PC and the worker pays $1,500 to upgrade it, who has more control of it? 2) What about licensing? 3) Does the company have any say into a worker's possibly inappropriate personal activities? Issues of data security, liability, and corporate culture shifts abound. Have you been talking all this over at your business? -- Don Willmott