When is the right time to BYOD?

What's your reaction when a business unit head tells you their team members want to use their own mobile devices for business purposes? Although your instinct may be to refuse to these requests, I think it's actually worth giving them serious consideration.

Workers increasingly expect to be able to do business anywhere, at any time, through whatever device they prefer. In many cases the computers they have at home will be much more powerful than what's on the desk in the office.

But it's the growing volumes of mobile workers, the rapid development of smartphones and tablets, and the popularity of rich media — especially video in all its forms — that are really changing the game.

Most IT departments already offer mobile solutions to employees, but it's often a limited range of handsets that may not have kept up with latest developments in the marketplace.

So it's hardly surprising that employees who've bought their own smartphones or tablets now want to use them for work, too.

It's going to happen anyway...
The problem is, people will bring their own devices anyway, so there's only so long you can continue swimming against the tide.

It'll be like the old days of greynets, when employees used unauthorised instant messaging or file-sharing services that you couldn't control or audit, and that left companies open to security and compliance risks.

In the same way, there are huge advantages for organisations whose CIOs implement a formalised Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy.

Allowing people to use the mobile devices they're familiar with can have a significant impact on their productivity and satisfaction levels.

They're more likely to stay connected when they're away from the office, and they'll need much less support from the IT helpdesk to use the equipment.

On top of that, they can do so much with their sophisticated tablets and smartphones that they'll often be able to manage without a company-provided laptop, reducing the company's hardware ownership and maintenance burden.

...so why not embrace it?
In the future, people will actually be expected to bring their own devices to work, as working patterns continue to evolve, companies make increasing use of freelancers and contractors, and more individuals work from multiple locations.

1 2 Page 1
Page 1 of 2
7 secrets of successful remote IT teams