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The Race to BYOD

Holding down an IT career may now mean much different things than it has in past years. For example, CIO.com’s Tom Kaneshige reported on a recent survey by TEKsystems, which found that 35 percent of IT leaders and 25 percent of general professionals aren’t sure if their company’s bring-your-own-device policy is actually in-step with data privacy and protection rules. Half of the respondents believe 25 percent or more of their sensitive data is at risk due to end users having access to it through their devices, something which he believes paints a disturbing picture of BYOD’s effect on the state of the IT industry.

“There’s no question the BYOD push has begun in earnest,” he wrote. “Many employees use their personal mobile devices for work purposes. Some companies are even mandating employees supply their own phones for work.”

Kaneshige said there are many factors moving this trend forward, including:

  • Better accessibility of employees on the road
  • Higher employee satisfaction since workers want to use their devices
  • Cost savings by allowing BYOD instead of purchasing company phones
  • Increase of productivity from the workforce
  • Higher customer satisfaction

Policies must be in place Even with all of these benefits, the reality may not be the same for every company. Without clear policies that every employee knows, security within the business could get compromised. EWEEK reported on a recent survey from NaviSite, which found that while 80 percent of workers believe BYOD is the new normal, only 45 percent have a formal plan or policy in place.

“When you add the growth of mobile and remote workforces, now there’s an even greater need to make sure workers can access the information they need when they need it, regardless of device,” Chris Patterson, vice president of product management for NaviSite, said.

Kaneshige said the voices from these surveys are clear: BYOD policies must direct end users what to do in a clear way, avoid legal jargon and make sure there’s a level of understanding between the IT department and the average worker about what can and cannot be done on a business network. He suggested companies slow down their adoption of BYOD and allow those in the IT career to tie together loose ends regarding compliance and privacy laws before pushing implementation forward.

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