We're interested in thinking about making our technology policies at our company more flexible. Right now IT basically issues everyone a Windows box when they start here. We're primarily a technology company though, and for at least a couple years most of our deployments are on Linux servers, so handing out Windows boxes is often a poor choice.
Management is interested in letting people use environments that 1) they're more comfortable with, 2) would be more productive on, 3) give us a broader set of platforms to play around with (e.g. easily check whether our code runs well on Android devices).
I'm neither in management nor IT, but I've been asked to come up with potential schemes for how we could change the way we do this. Our company is about 60 people (and growing) with around 3 or 4 IT people, and the rest are developers or other technology people.
One idea from management is to give people a certain budget each year (maybe $1500) that could be applied to technology purchases - could be a cheap new laptop, could be a tablet, could even be a standing desk or whatever. Or people could wait a couple years and get a beefier desktop machine, maybe a Mac, maybe a slicker Linux laptop with SSDs, whatever. I'm sure there will also be people who just want whatever standard box they're already getting, too. The point is to give people more control over their technology & environment decisions.
So I'm interested in hearing what kinds of schemes can work well. Are there paradigms that are well-known to be bad ideas, or pitfalls that can be avoided? Any pointers to other places where this gets discussed? What models have been tried by similar-sized startups? (We're not a startup, we're a wholly-owned subsidiary of a huge company, but we have enough autonomy that they don't control stuff like this.) I hope this is the right forum - I waded through all the Stack Exchange sites and this seemed like the closest fit, but I'd welcome any help turning this into a better question or finding a better forum too.