The rise of Bring Your Own Device

Posted by Andrew on May 7, 2013

Large organizations and the federal government have long been against allowing employees to bring their own laptops to work or to even use their personal cell phones for work related activities. There is a whole industry around providing devices and IT support to these large entities as well as a long standing culture and tradition of employer provided devices since the rise of the work PC. The shift has been happening for some time in a somewhat slow fashion. A the costs have come down and the compute power has gone up for personal devices many employees feel shackled and encumbered by their employer's outdated technology.

A recent survey of telecommuters showed that there is a strong belief that if allowed to use their own devices for telecommuting that productivity would be much higher. According to a Gartner report, this belief is echoed up the chain as they predict that by 2017 "half of employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes."

This shift towards employee provided devices makes a lot of sense from the standpoint of the employees who are able to provide better devices than their employers, it is not totally clear if the benefits to the employers is as clearly defined. Many employers consider the correspondence of their employees to be confidential and though there are now many third party services like Good that provide security for mobile devices, these services often create workflows that are even more cumbersome for a worker than actually reaching for that second cell phone.

What do you think about Bring Your Own Device to work policies?