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Shop employee wanting to print from his ipad, iphone to a wireless printer

Posted on 2013-01-29
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Last Modified: 2013-02-05
I have a bit of a dilemma.  We are a small company and our network is a physically wired via ethernet and we also have fiber optics to connect a separate building  to our main office.  

We also have  a wireless router setup through our sonic wall that we allow  clients to use when they come to inspect the products we are building for them.  Our employees are not allowed to use the wireless.  

I have had a request from a shop employee,  who wants to print to a wireless printer.  I told him we did not have wireless printer.  He then proceed to inform me that he would be a printer and set it up himself.  I told him not to do anything because I would have to discuss this issue with the President of the company.  

I personally do not like for employees to just randomly start setting up their own "little network environment".  Does anyone see any problems with allowing him to do this?

I feel that we will be opening up Pandora's box, if he is allowed to do this.  

Open to advise.
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Question by:MomForLife
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by:pony10us
ID: 38832424
This sounds more like a case for the company president and/or lawyer to answer.

Since you state you are a small company I would venture to guess you have no written policy(s) concerning:

1. The use of personal devices in the workplace.
2. Using company resources for personal use.
3. Wireless (both for customer as well as employee

just to name a few that could adress the question.

Also you should have written standards on what equipment is used that could address the question of wired vs. wireless printers, keyboards, mice, etc.
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Expert Comment

by:Brad Bouchard
ID: 38832463
I think you're right by not allowing employees to buy and set up their own equipment for security reasons as well as support reasons.  However, what I would do is get the OK from your supervisor/president and then help find the right model of printer that he would need based on the ones he finds.

Both parties win.
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Author Comment

by:MomForLife
ID: 38832496
Actually we do have a policy in place, but it is only a policy that is handed out to employees that have a company issued computer.  We state in the policy the user is not to set up any type of networking devices at our company, however this shop member does not even have a computer only his persona ipad and iphone.
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Accepted Solution

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pony10us earned 167 total points
ID: 38832538
It sounds like the policy should be part of the orientation of all new employees and addressed with all existing employees now.

If it is indeed worded "the user is not to set up any type of networking devices" then that would include iPads and iPhones as well as any other devices.

Again, this may be a legal question best addressed by legal counsel. Another question is does the employee need this ability for to perform his job duties or is it wanted simply for personal use?
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Assisted Solution

by:cbmm
cbmm earned 167 total points
ID: 38833023
The question is do you really want to support this user's personal devices. We dont allow anyone to bring in devices and set them up on our network. If its a legitimate use, then the company should decide if its an expense thats worth it. BYOD can get out of control really fast
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Assisted Solution

by:TomRScott
TomRScott earned 166 total points
ID: 38833299
I would start with the suggestions from Pony10us.

While doing so, I would keep in mind not just security, but support. No matter what this employee states in terms of supporting it themselves, that is never the case in the long run.

Whatever decision your company makes, you need to budget not only the capital cost but the operational cost including IT support.

Part of that is not just the initial capital cost but the recurring capital cost. Who is going to replace equipment when it ages?

 - Tom
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