BYOD is not for Everyone

David Byrd : Raven Call
David Byrd
David Byrd is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Raven Guru Marketing. Previously, he was the CMO and EVP of Sales for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, He was CMO at ANPI, CMO & EVP of Sales at Broadvox, VP of channels and Alliances for Telcordia and Director of eBusiness development with i2 Technologies.He has also held executive positions with Planet Hollywood Online, Hewlett-Packard, Tandem Computers, Sprint and Ericsson.
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BYOD is not for Everyone

The first thing people think of when BYOD is an option is security. In fact, Practicing Safe SIP was the most read blog I ever authored. However, the security concerns with BYOD are very different from those of properly protecting the enterprise from external threats. With BYOD you are inviting the threats as guests into the enterprise and you have no idea where those devices have been. This is very hard for an IT manager to accept. Yet, I believe BYOD is broader than the concerns of IT and a growing chorus of people agrees with me.

BYOD, also, changes the relationship between the company and the employee, because now the employee is responsible for the “office” equipment which involves both the device and the contract with the service or application provider. It is also the responsibility of the employee to engage a security program to protect the equipment from threats as they peruse the Internet, use cloud applications or perform personal activities. In addition to the device, the employee must select the proper service plan. The employee pays the monthly bill for voice, data and access. This requires a policy to be develop that allows for employees to relate such costs to the business and for the business to reimburse the employee either entirely or up to some stated amount or stipend. Not every employee wants to BYOD nor is every employee responsible enough for such an option. What’s a business to do?

Prior to allowing BYOD, a business must work with IT, HR, Legal and operations to determine the best approach for their business infrastructure, practices and culture to support BYOD. At Broadvox, we allow for employees to use different smartphones. The company standard issue is a BlackBerry, but employees may also use the iPhone and Android devices. For the sales and marketing personnel, I insist that the phone number belong to Broadvox so that if the employee leaves or is, regrettably, terminated, their business ecosystem (prospects, customers, partners, vendors, etc.) will dial a number that engages their replacement not follows the ex-employee. There was push back to this policy but I thought it very important as we allow the introduction of personal devices.

Finally, I have been on a privacy binged lately and with BYOD privacy is a major issue. The Supreme Court has ruled that employees give up their right to privacy when using employer issued equipment. What privacy rights exist when the equipment used for work belongs to the employee, especially, if the employer is paying/reimbursing for the access and data plan? Does the employee have to follow company guidelines with regard to text message content, visited sites, or any other activity or policy tied to the device?

BYOD may be the next plateau in technology adoption for businesses but it is also the next Gordian knot when it comes to representing how it will be implemented.

As is often said today, “Good luck with that”.

See you on Monday!

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