Who should be buying our Tablets? -- Strategy for Mobile devices

We are a church of around 3,000 people with a small but capable IT department. For years, we have handled the procurement and maintenance of all “computer related” equipment for our users. Desktops and Laptops primarily, with some tablets thrown in over the last couple years. Each staff person is responsible for their own phone purchase so we have not gotten involved much with that on the purchasing side.

What we have begun to see as we grow and become more departmentalized as a staff is that each department is wanting to buy some iPads or iPad minis for use for various things; broadcasting a session on Facebook Live, being a secondary device for users who travel a lot, etc. Up to now we have managed those device purchases and mobile management, however people are wanting to start to move these purchases “within their department” buying the tablets they want without IT involvement and not having to worry about Mobile management, warranties, etc.

Part of me likes the idea of less things to keep track of, however I am concerned about where this might lead us 3-5 years from now. If it creates a long term problem, I would rather not start down that road. What I was hoping for here was some feedback from some of you who are maybe further down this road than we are and what insight you might have.

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A difficult topic I’m interested in hearing opinions on as well. The issue of IT managed versus department managed / personal devices is a tricky one…

This is a tough and tricky topic indeed. I can’t speak to all the details of this topic but I know for Life.Church everything is managed through IT. This seems to work really well for us. It helps ensure we can support all devices in the organization, track all hardware assets, roll out major updates with confidence, ensure stewardship of resources, etc. I feel like moving this within departments would be chaotic. This is also partly a culture issue. If the top leadership doesn’t promote an IT lead hardware strategy, then I think you’ll always be in a tough place.

Good luck navigating this season!