The Bring Your Own Device Divide

18 Jul

There are two sides to the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend now that IT departments are facing off against human resources professionals. Each side of this polarized debate has valid points, but finding ways to work together is essential for employee engagement and business security. The key to solving these issues and creating a friendly workspace is collaboration which, while facilitated by BYOD programs themselves, can be difficult to promote acceptance with at first.

HR Support

A Forrester report recently showed that more than three-fourths of company technology is already purchased by employees and used for both home and work purposes. The study went on to say that, based on previous adoption trends, BYOD will probably be the ruling institution among SMBs and big business alike within the next three years. These devices have proliferated in personal life and tend to go with workers whenever they travel already, representing a savings for businesses that don’t have to invest in new technology to make operations more flexible.

IT Resists

While this cuts costs and increases productivity for the workforce, it could result in a security problem in terms of increased data breach probability. The trouble with BYOD initiatives is that it’s already difficult enough getting employees to follow security procedures for company-owned technology, but introducing personal devices make people feel like they have more liberties with data protection. This could result in serious danger to business continuity, and by default complicates the job of IT personnel who have to buff up endpoint security to account for anticipated lackluster personal device security.

Some IT and HR professionals share the concern, though, that it could enhance FLSA compliance issues. Studies have found that workers tend to keep at job tasks even after they should have stopped for the day, resulting in overtime and reporting issues. Seeing as some of the problems of BYOD are shared, these departments need to get together and offer ideas on how to effectively solve each of them. By finding a middle ground, companies should discern a way to save data and money at the same time.

What do you think about BYOD? Should employees be allowed to use their own devices? Let us know on Twitter by mentioning @JoeyBaird with your answer.


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