There are two main phenomena sweeping through the IT industry at the moment – The Cloud and Bring Your Own Device. Having already spent time discussing The Cloud today I will discuss Bring Your Own Device instead especially the pros and cons and what it could mean for you.
So what is Bring Your Own Device? Basically employers are starting to give employees the choice of what hardware (and in some cases software) they carry out their daily tasks on. Thats right you could decide to use an iPad for your work. Cool hey? You would however have to go out and purchase said iPad yourself.
So what are the Pros and Cons then?
1. Management does not have to spend thousands of pounds on IT hardware to give to its employees.
2. Employees get to work on whatever system they choose. If you want to work on your new iPad then so be it.
3. In some cases the employee not only gets to choose the hardware but also the software too. If you don’t like working on Windows then you might decide on a Mac or Linux instead. If you hate Microsoft Outlook you could choose Evolution, Windows Live Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird instead.
4. Better productivity and flexibility. Happy employees are more productive employees – fact. Employees would not have to sit at a desk in the office all day to do their work. They could now be mobile and work from home, coffee shops etc (any place that has wireless). This is of course assuming that they were working with desktops previously.
1. This now becomes an IT administration nightmare. IT departments would now be expected to support operating systems, software and hardware from any number of vendors. Your IT staff might only be trained in Windows so would not have a clue on how intergrate Linux or Macs into your existing network. Have you ever tried to fix a broken iPad?
2. The employee would have to buy the harware (and possibly) the software they want to use. Some employers though are offsetting this by giving employees some of the money as a grant.
3. Security breaches. Imagine the scenario where an employee now gets all their work emails to their smartphone. Everything is working smoothly until the phone is stolen. All that corporate data is now out in the open. How do you mitigate for this?
So there you have it. Personally I think Bring Your Own Device is a good thing which will motivate employees (and by default make them more productive), however IT departments are going to need to come up with a new way of thinking in regards to securing data and administering enviroments which could contain a jumble of tablets, desktops, laptops and smartphones from different vendors.
So what do you think?
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