Who’s ready for BYOD?

Two articles: one a trend piece, the other a cautionary tale.

Shel Holtz, in the newest CW Magazine, talks about the “bring-your-own-device” culture that is emerging in the workplace:

“Some refer to this phenomenon as the consumerization of IT.  Others label it technology populism. . . Technology populism has weakened IT’s ability to keep the hatches battened down by simply controlling what people use.  What’s more, IT has been forced to deal with a growing demand among employees to use their personal devices—smartphones, tablets and more—at and for work.  BYOD has gained momentum among employees who would just as soon use their preferred technology as anything the company would give them.”

Implications:
  • employees want to be able to access company assets (intranets, file servers) from their own devices
  • employees want their business apps (sales tools, logistics trackers) to go onto their personal devices
  • employees may NOT want to receive typical corporate communications this way
  • employees may not fully understand the risks they’re absorbing (lost unprotected devices, redistribution of proprietary info)

I carried around two phones for a while—mine and the company’s—and it sucks.  So BYOD is a trend that won’t reverse, especially after IT starts to report some cost savings.  But is someone in your business thinking through those implications and how to manage them into effective communications?
The cautionary tale is from DiversityInc.  They give an example of how hot—in this case, racist—election rhetoric can find its way into the workplace via technology.  It’s a very short distance from reading or downloading to discussing or, worse, forwarding.
IT, Legal, HR, division leadership and Communications are going to have to work on this together.  What should be your business’ first step?

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