I’ve read a few articles recently about bringing your own device (BYOD) to the workplace and it seems to crop up in various conversations in our office. It’s certainly an interesting talking point and one which, over time, will generate plenty of discussion between people in different roles within an organisation.
From what I’ve observed, the points raised by people are essentially this:
General Office Worker – it’s the company’s responsibility to provide equipment and look after it.
Senior Manager – as long as I can connect my iPad to the network and get various pieces of information, I’m happy.
Technical Role-based Worker – if the company gives me a rise in salary to cover it (or a suitably high enough spec), I’d much rather choose the devices I work with. I’m happy to put some of my own funds towards getting even higher spec equipment if this means I can work faster/better. I’m more capable of looking after my device than our IT team so I just need the right security clearance.
IT Manager – I’m glad I don’t have to look after the equipment, but the security issue is a big problem. Having so many different types of device puts too much pressure on the IT team. I don’t want people using applications that they have installed for their personal use connected to my network.
It does seem as though most workers I speak to (in the techie world don’t forget) are in favour of BYOD, but that their respective IT teams are not. The IT managers seem protective of their network (not unwisely) and will have to shift, psychologically as well as practically, if BYOD were to be successful within their organisation. I suspect that BYOD will creep in as more people use tablet and mobile devices to access organisational data. As more and more business applications move to either public or private cloud-based hosting models (see Office365 as a good example), I suspect there will simply be less need for the device to be owned by the business; to me, that seems like a huge positive.