Companies Embrace Mandatory BYOD

by Matt Klassen on May 3, 2013

As with almost all popular grass roots movements like the paradigm shifting employee-driven bring-your-own-device revolution(BYOD), there comes a time when those impacted on the other side of said movement, in this case businesses both large and small, finally give in and look for ways to make money off the new way of life.

So while employees have spent months clamouring about how easy it would be to just bring their favourite devices to work instead of having to use corporately mandated technology, businesses have finally given in, telling employees to go ahead and bring their own devices to work…in fact, starting to tell them they have to bring their own devices to work.

According to Gartner, while companies haven’t found a way to make money off the BYOD movement per se, they are quickly beginning to realize the inherent savings available by allowing, nay demanding, that employees bring their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets to work, with half of all employers likely requiring employees use their own gear to do their jobs by 2017. You wanted the BYOD movement, well you got it folks! Only now it’s mandatory.

Fair or not, should this corporate shift come to pass it’ll mean changes for both employers and employees, as companies will have to continue to find ways to secure a multitude of consumer oriented devices on the corporate network, while interview candidates will now have the extra burden of supplying their own gadgets for their future job.

In fact, it’ll be interesting to see how the mandatory BYOD movement develops over the next few years, as supplying one’s own gadgets to do one’s job becomes an integral part of the hiring and ongoing employment process. Soon we’ll see purchasing one’s chosen technological devices as part of the interview process itself, an out-of-pocket expense that employees will have to incur before they can even start work.

Further, the savvy interviewee will want to clarify the ins-and-outs of each company’s own BYOD policy, asking what phones are available for use—there’s no way companies can securely support all makes and models—and who is responsible for ongoing service and repairs to the devices—as the expense incurred by mobile technology almost never stops at the cash register. Soon questions like these will be paramount to the interview process, as important as asking about salary or health benefits.

For employers this new take on the BYOD movement will mean that creating well-defined BYOD policies becomes essential, not wanting to alienate employees by surprising them with forced expenses, but informing them clearly and concisely that supplying one’s own gadgets is now part of the job. Of course savvy companies will likely buck this trend as well, including a stipend for sought after employees to purchase their own technology, opening the door for this entire movement to come back full circle in another decade or so.

In the end there exists some delicious irony in this latest twist in the BYOD movement; companies moving towards embracing the BYOD movement in a manner that ostensibly feels like a slap in the face to employees. While I’m sure most employees never thought one day they’d have to bring their own device to work, they’d be foolish to think that companies would stand idly by and let employees dictate the terms of technology usage, meaning while this growing mandatory BYOD shift certainly seems unfair, it’s certainly not a surprise.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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