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BYOD trend poses immense challenges for organizations

No, employees aren’t bringing their own alcoholic drinks to work, but they are bringing in their own mobile devices and expecting to use them with their employers’ networks. What does that mean? Well, chances are several (or many) of a given organization’s employees have personal smartphones or tablet computers, and they probably want to use them to perform work tasks.

The most basic example is checking email. We’ve all heard of the CrackBerry addiction, which finds employees checking their work email at all hours of the day, at work and play. Well, BlackBerry phones were (and perhaps still are) primarily business devices, usually offered to employees by their employers. Generally, employers have a significant amount of control over such devices.

The reverse is happening now. Employees want to use their own personal mobile devices—and a bewildering array of them—to do work (wherever they may be), and it’s much more difficult to control all of them.

In any case, accommodating such personal devices is likely inevitable due to the increasing shift toward mobile computing. Smaller organizations particularly—which probably can’t afford to buy a device for every employee who needs or wants one—might find BYOD advantageous. That is, if they can manage to maintain control of their networks.

Computerworld recently published several articles on BYOD and mobile technology.

Read Ryan Faas on “How mobile, BYOD and younger workers are reinventing IT.”

Here’s Matt Hamblen on “Chief mobility officer: The next big IT job?.”

And here’s Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols with a cynical look, “BYOD: Good for whom exactly?” (Might require free subscription.)

Adam Gorley
First Reference Internal Controls, Human Resources and Compliance Editor

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Adam Gorley

Adam Gorley is a copywriter, editor and researcher at First Reference. He contributes regularly to First Reference Talks, Inside Internal Controls and other First Reference publications. He writes about general HR issues, accessibility, privacy, technology in the workplace, accommodation, violence and harassment, internal controls and more. Read more
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