Bring your device to work, but don’t put the business on the line

Over the course of the last two years a huge change has happened in the workplace. The office of yesteryear used to have employees working from their desks five days a week, solely on company computers, great for output, but not necessarily for worker morale or workplace harmony!

However, since the launch of smart devices, especially the iPhone, iPad, a shift has occurred, where employees are largely working away from the office and also bringing in their own tablets, phones and laptops to use in the office – something which is causing quite a buzz as employees show off their new toys and gadgets to their co-workers.

This however, has presented a number of issues and headaches for businesses, the biggest being that the devices aren’t supported by the IT department, opening the organisation up to potential security breaches and nasty file infections.

Not only this, but it also creates restriction issues for employees as they try to access certain documents which aren’t supported by the software built into the device – for example flash and word documents are a real pain to access and edit, especially on an iPad.

As the launch of the yet another fancy new version of the iPhone looms on the world and Amazon announces its colour all singing all dancing rival tablet to the iPad, it is clear that employees bringing their own devices into the workplace will only increase, forcing businesses to rethink previous policies and how to integrate them with current systems.

Whilst most organisations will protest and stamp their feet at this and continue to refuse the adoption all together, they could be creating an unnecessary and unwanted problem for themselves.

Mobile working is becoming a common practice within all work places (it’s easier for those with young families and just more convenient for those who hate working from a dull office 5 days a week) and whether they like it or not workers will continue to connect to email or company systems whilst on the move.

By thinking pragmatically about it businesses need to put themselves in the shoes of their employees, to think outside of the corporate box and offer a flexible way of working, whilst at the same time not compromising on security.

This is easily done and whilst could involve further investment, it may improve efficiencies and have a positive effect on staff productivity levels – and after all a happy workforce is a productive workforce.

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Jon Pickering co-founded Block Solutions in January 2006 and has led the business to outstanding financial growth. Jon instils Block’s core values around “doing ICT properly” and ensures that his own consultative approach in dealing with customers is adopted throughout the business - everyone cares about the success of each customer engagement. His hands-on approach has been instrumental in Block’s success and he remains actively involved with the customers. A major personal achievement for Jon was when the business was awarded Cisco Gold Partner status. His current focus is to deliver further growth by directing Block into new vertical markets and to firmly establish the business as one of the UK's leading technology consultancy partners. Jon lives with his wife and two children in Kent. He likes most sports and in his spare time enjoys playing golf.

  • Costis Papadimitrakopoulos

    I couldn’t agree with you more! There is definitely an opportunity for businesses to benefit from allowing employees to use their own mobile devices at work, but without investment in the right technology, this could come at the cost of staff productivity and information security. To ensure that all corporate data is fully protected and that staff are able to work efficiently, companies need to invest in a solution that will let them secure and manage a wide range of mobile handsets and tablet PCs. By placing confidential information inside a secure app environment and behind a firewall, organisations can rest easy knowing that information will remain secure, even if a device is lost or connected to the web using an unsecured public internet connection.
    Costis Papadimitrakopoulos, CEO, Globo.