Saturday, 20 December 2014

BYOD - Bring On The Mobiles

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or LinkedIn here http://uk.linkedin.com/in/tonysmiththathousingitguy

We have all heard for about the last three years about, 'How we need to look at our Bring Your Own Device' policies. So why on earth is it rarely seen on the ground?

It's certainly not taken off in housing, as far as I can see and according to recent info, stalled in UK, Europe and to a lesser extent in the US. It's said that In Europe, BYOD adoption has reached a plateau. One reason is that our employees expect companies to pay for a mobile device that's becoming the primary tool to access systems and data. Culturally, the default position is that your employer is felt should be providing you with all the tools, in order to do the job expected.

Last year, IDC asked European companies about their BYOD plans. Apparently, the results of the 2013 survey showed 26 percent had a formal BYOD policy, 31 percent planned to create one, and 44 percent weren't planning to do so in the next 18 months. Fast forward to the same survey question this year: 36 percent had a formal BYOD policy, 23 percent planned to create one, and 41 percent didn't have any plans in the next 18 months.

While end-users may be keen to use ipads and other tablets for home and work, this on the ground generally gets short-shrift from ICT infrastructure teams. Particularly in housing, limited take-up of MDM (Mobile Device Management) and traditional urge to control from the centre predominates. Lots of decent MDM is emerging, such as MobileIron as well as some bundled from mobile providers like O2. We all know many organisations, still force users to have Blackberry's for all email & mobile use. This obviously isn't going to persuade anyone to extend/blur their working day.

Now, employees will be tempted to use drop-box and other less than secure file-sharing sites to save work documents. In fairness, many I see, are only doing this to get the job done, around the organisation work controls in place. Rather than banning things in a blanket style, its often better to give more freedom and manage the risks in a more proportionate way. Management should manage people breaking rules, rather than creating rules that invariable will be broken, as their jobs cannot be done effectively, without doing so.

Users can be much more familiar with their own mobile device and are less likely to break or abuse it, if they have forked out £200 or more for it themselves. When it needs updating, it's their headache not the organisations. Productivity can rocket if it's done correctly and a formal BYOD policy is the obvious starting point. Has your ICT team got one?

The challenge is to get BYOD to work well for us, mixing the work office and what we use our devices for in our real-lives outside. Security does need to be adequate. Even Cyber-risk insurance products are now available if things go wrong. One thing is sure, BYOD will not just go away. UKHousing will need to take it more serious soon.

Related Post: How do you rate getting staff mobile, for efficiency?

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The Stranglers - Bring On The NubilesThe Stranglers - Bring On The Nubiles.
(c) Tony Smith, Acutance Consulting www.acutanceconsulting.co.uk 07854-655009

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