The last section of this article from the Economist on virtualisation, “The Liquefaction of Hardware”, touches on an interesting point. As virtualisation becomes more established for the desktop (as opposed to the server where the concept is well established), it will be possible to install a secure virtual desktop onto any PC, including privately owned machines.
There are two obvious consequences. The first, as highlighted in the Economist’s piece is that employees will be able to use their own PCs at work which will be especially attractive to the digital natives who are entering the workplace. And why not? Most people don’t think twice about using their own pen at work. On the one hand you have the commoditisation of IT; on the other you have increasing flexibility for employees.
The second consequence of such a move is that it will become ever easier to accommodate the increasing proportion of freelance professionals who sell their services into organisations; the Contractual Fringe as defined in Charles Handy’s Shamrock Organisation