That's true. I'm guessing most IT departments are used to having complete control over assets and therefore have a hard time with the idea of not owning hardware. Certainly a lot of work would have to go into establishing policies and setting standards for what the corporate desktop image is, but that's probably true in any case.
I tend to agree, the thing that is lacking is a good (debatable) asset management system which secures these companies assets while they go from computer to computer as well as maintaining a record of who has them and what changes were made. Just recently, one of the companies I do work for is implementing a document tracking systems for their books which allows them to maintain a chain of control over the IP that they own.
In that case, it is clear what matters to a company: their IP. Personal workstations become a commodity that act as a conduit for the organization and its employees. You can use your own machine, work on companies documents and when you are done, take it home with you. The documents are saved and did not leave the premisses. I like the auditing idea as well. I have seen that done before; it is a pain to set it up, but really useful in the long run.a
Well one of the things that could be extended with a good IP system is that the employees are not required to be physically anywhere. They can work on the materials (which are checked out) at home or whereever and submit them back when they are due. An employees worth would then be rated by their ability to maintain deadlines. Of course many companies don't have the management support for this yet but as the older managers retire I believe it will get much more popular in a short amount of time. Just think of all the expenses saved by not having to house employee's. The budgets could then be focused on systems/network infrastructure, and with the remote datacenter (Cloud) technologies advancing they may evolve together quite well.
I've heard that Booz Allen is instituting a new policy this summer where employees work in the office closest to where they live, based on their zip code, regardless of which division they work for. Which I think will go a long way in employee satisfaction by cutting down on commuting and related frustrations. I've also heard that in the DC area they are piloting the idea of hoteling,which means employees work at home most of the time, and when they need an office they book one online at the local BA facility and when they show up they have everything they need. There will be upfront costs to build out the facilities to become 'hotels,' but in the long run I'm guessing the savings will be significant.
Something like this is a perfect example of what I think will be the workplace of the future. There will always be some work which requires a formal office but many peoples work simply does not require this most of the time. The real question is how long will it take for people to learn the discipline required for at home work.