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BYOD: Bring Your Own Demise

BYOD has become one of the hotest new subjects in technology as of late. Tied to the consumerization of IT, everyone seems to be talking about it, many aren’t sure what do about it and most business owners are just ignoring it.

Depending on your viewpoint, BYOD isn’t a revolutionary concept. People have been trying to use their own computer (to work from home) for a long time. Concerned about the implications of this, large (and small) business often provided a company purchased, configured and managed computer (or laptop) that was dedicated for the that very purpose. The device was “locked down” and prevented the user from doing those items that were felt “inappropriate”. The benefit of this approach was security and control but the downside was the cost.

Now enter BYOD or Bring Your Own Device, where (originally) business owners or senior executives didn’t like having multiple devices and they wanted to choose which they were going to use (e.g. iPhones, iPads, etc.). People started bringing their own device to the office and having the IT department “make it work”, while still allowing the user the ability to do “what they wanted” on the device. This was a fundamental shift in control, security and liability. Over time this has trickled down within organizations to nearly all employees under the plan of reducing expenses and increasing productivity. If an employee is using their personal smartphone, wouldn’t they be checking their company email more often and do more work? Mostly yes! Is the IT department happy about supporting so many different devices? Mostly no!

Regardless of which way you look at it, there are pros and cons to adopting BYOD. A key part of successfully using BYOD is to establish and implement the appropriate “acceptable use” and other policies to protect both the company and the employee, including the consequences when one does not live up to their “end of the bargain”. This extends well beyond IT and requires the help of HR and Legal. Consider:

  • What happens if the device is misused?
  • What happens if the device is “hacked”?
  • What happens if the device is lost or stolen?
  • What happens if the employee separates from the firm?
  • … and much much more.

    Be careful, plan and protect. Don’t let BYOD or Bring Your Own Device turn into Bring Your Own Demise

    Alan Buckwalter
    Jefric Consulting, LLC
    IT Services and Consulting

    Posted in General.

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