I attended the Digital East conference on social and mobile innovations last month in Reston, VA, and couldn’t help but notice the amount of chatter focused around the BYOD movement in the workplace.
For those who might be acronym-challenged, BYOD (bring your own device) refers to the business practice of allowing employees to use their own personal devices in the workplace rather than the employer providing the new hire with the standard company-approved phone, tablet, laptop or computer.
This BYOD movement is a natural, and for the most part welcome, result of mobile advances in smartphone and tablet technology. In fact, it should surprise no one that the practice began emerging organically before many companies had a chance to plan or create policies around usage.
The purpose of this blog is to provide a high-level overview of the pros and cons to consider when crafting the rules of the BYOD road, because if this is not being discussed at your workplace now, it most certainly will be in 2013, especially in tech, IT, and freelance programming jobs. In fact, current estimates indicate that 30% of employees are already in BYOD mode.
1- Most obviously, BYOD can represent a huge cost saving to employers, including the purchase, maintenance and data plans
2- BYOD makes employees happy because they are able to use what they know and like (for example I’d die if I was forced to use a Blackberry for work) and it eliminates the need to carry a “work” and “personal” device
3- BYOD also helps to attract the best talent, encourage a flexible working environment and raise productivity levels
1- There will be compatibility issues associated with BYOD that must be anticipated (platforms, versions, configurations) and accounted for by the IT department
2- Privacy and protection of company intelligence data
3- Susceptibility to viruses
Smart organizations will embrace this trend by creating acceptable use policies and solid IT support. Key considerations for best practices should detail:
- What content employees have access to
- Acceptable usage behavior during work
- How exiting workers data is segregated and retrieved by the company.
It should also be noted that some IT professionals feel the cost savings will be minimal due to potential virus attacks and increased security issues associated with lost devices. While that may be true, my advice is to anticipate and plan for those contingencies; because like the rise of the Android into the smartphone space, BYOD is coming to an office near you—like it or not.
Profiles is a unique staffing firm specializing in Marketing employment, Creative, and Web & IT jobs. Since 1998, we have served the needs of our Clients and Talent by matching the best candidates with the best companies in the Mid-Atlantic region: Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, PA and Richmond, VA.
Author Name – Marie Gordon
Title – Business Development Consultant
Location – Washington, DC
Twitter – @MeetMarie
Byline – Marie has spent the past 15 years in the recruitment industry for creative, digital and communication professionals. She is passionate about branding, innovative marketing and watching the disruption of the status quo.