Why BYOD Policies Won’t Win Over Everyone
BYOD programs are booming — 84 percent of smartphone users use their own devices at work — but does that suggest booming universal endorsement of those programs for all the end users and employees?
Not quite. Take Gary Z., an employee in the legal department of a California-based healthcare company, who’s bucked the BYOD trend — not because he isn’t a fan of the concept, but because of what he considers a poorly conceived mobility plan that compromises more privacy than he’s comfortable with. Gary, who requested to remain unidentified, decided to opt out of his employer’s BYOD option to sidestep the company’s BYOD security policies, which includes remote wipe, remote lock, and location-monitoring.
Gary is just one end user among thousands, but his situation has some instructive insights for mobility managers. His employer, he says, has a pretty straight-forward BYOD policy: Employees have the option to bring their own device, which they pay for while the company covers the data plan. Those who opt out of the BYOD option are issued company BlackBerrys, which the company pays for entirely. So Gary now carries a BlackBerry for work and an iPhone 4S for himself. ”I don’t think they have any business having access to my personal information,” Gary says.
Those who bring their own devices must submit to the company’s security rules. According to Gary, this includes installing MobileIron, a mobile device management (MDM) software that adds security features. BYOD employees must agree to the remote wipe, which clears all data on a device that is lost or stolen (or if the employee separates from the company) as well as location services and app monitoring. The BYODers also can’t jailbreak iPhones.
“The company moved from a sandbox solution, which keeps company information separate from personal info on my phone, to a more global solution that combines the two,” Gary says. “I worried that I’d accidentally mix up my personal accounts from the business accounts, or send a business email through my personal email.” Most of his colleagues, he says, choose BYOD for cost reasons. ”I received a couple of funny looks [from colleagues] when choosing the BlackBerry — kind of like, ‘Why are you doing that?’” he says. “It just all goes back to security reasons.”
Besides cost, he says the upside to the BYOD option is the ability to sync certain apps like calendars in order to keep organized. But he says he doesn’t mind carrying two phones as long as his personal information stays protected and separate from work. He uses his company BlackBerry mostly for business email, and uses his iPhone 4S for personal matters.
“It’s a fairly recent policy,” says Gary, who’s been using his BlackBerry for two months now. “They give you the option to go BYOD or BlackBerry, but I suspect, in time, they’ll start pushing the BYOD option a little more for cost savings.”
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