What’s In Your Pocket? The BYOD Vs. Corporate Conundrum
To bring your own or not bring your own, that is the question for enterprises and their employees across the globe.
As enterprises increasingly become mobile, creating more connected workforces yielding higher productivity, workers are often faced with a seemingly arbitrary decision: use my own device for work purposes; have two devices; or use my corporate device for personal reasons?
But that decision has become major in how employees, especially those who may be responsible for off-hours communication, conduct business and balance their work-life.
According to a survey published by Syntonic this week, some 60-percent of enterprises have a formal BYOD policy, with another 20-percent planning to enact one over the next year. Sixty-nine percent of those are reimbursing employees for work-related smartphone usage. Those same respondents showed the necessity for BYOD, as 87-percent provide employees with mobile business app access to their personal devices, and admit productivity would be negatively impacted if the current system wasn’t enacted, the survey said.
Enterprise Mobility Exchange spoke with three professionals from different industries about their current mobile use structure and what they prefer. See who uses what, and why they chose that particular method.
Separating Work And Life
For Keith Rettas, a project manager with PSE&G in New Jersey, use of a single device has never been a consideration.
“I like to keep my work information and personal information separated,” he said. While Rettas’s company offers a bring-your-own-device policy and up to $50 monthly reimbursement, those who wish to use their own phone are required to access the company’s information through a VPN. When an employee reaches a certain job level in the company, he said, they are provided with a corporately-owned device.
“Because of the scope of my job, with ongoing projects in many different locations, having the two phones is actually a benefit,” Rettas said. “It helps me to multitask and be more productive.”
The project manager uses an iPhone 5s for work and iPhone 6 Plus for personal purposes.
‘Sick Of Carrying Two Devices’
For one longtime pharmaceutical company employee, having both a corporate and personal device to lug around became too bothersome.
“I just got sick of carrying around two devices,” said the employee, who asked not to be named for company policy reasons. It’s been eight years since he was given his corporate device, and dropped his personal cell phone about three years ago. “It wasn’t a ‘privacy versus cost-savings’ issue at all; I just didn’t feel like having two devices.”
Much like Rettas’s company, the pharmaceutical employee said workers in his organization receive a corporate device when they’ve attained a specific level and may require additional communication. On those corporate devices, some apps are blacklisted, and device management is centrally run by the company through a vendor. He currently uses an iPhone 6.
‘Whole Life Was There To See’
Charlie Hovis has been working with technology for more than 40 years and has seen the progression of device use firsthand. As the North American Sales Director for FS Elliott, Hovis uses his personal Samsung Note for work purposes.
“I’m pretty careful about doing too much with it,” Hovis said. “The company has gotten better lately with security and our IT department will vet everything now.”
The former Ingersoll-Rand engineer said his current company, where he’s been for more than a decade, pays for the monthly plan on his personal device. He has access to his CRM and the enterprise’s VPN is also accessible if he needs to use it.
Lending a word to the wise, Hovis cautioned, “Some people, who are using their devices for work and personal, are putting their whole life out there to see. People need to be more careful.”
BYOD policies have been put in place to create more productivity, according to 43-percent of the Syntonic survey respondents. As a result, 68-percent of companies believe employees are using their smartphones for work purposes at least four hours a week when not in the office, and another 20-percent say that figure is at least eight hours per week.
For those employees who feel the corporate device system is the way to go, the tides are turning. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents said they expect personal smartphone use for work purposes to increase over the next year, and even more so in the IT industry, with 83-percent of enterprises heading in that direction.
A massive shift in how digital work is done has unfolded in the last two decades, from the use of desktop computers to laptops, and now to mobile devices, whether it's tablets or smartphones. The next 20 years will likely see a continuation of that shift, as mobile devices and their wide-ranging app capabilities become the primary form of doing business.
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