TMCnews Featured Article
October 22, 2012
Mobile Device Management and BYOD
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
In the world of smartphones, companies may move from issuing hand held devices to employees to mandating they get their own phones. One may expect workers to be up in arms having to buy their own phones for business and personal use, but one company saw quite the opposite. In fact, this trend of employees preferring to use their own devices is growing.
Ingram Micro (News - Alert) offered a voluntary program they called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) which allowed employees to purchase their own smartphone and link to the mobile device management technology available through the company. They could access both their personal as well as business information all on one phone.
According to this CIO article, Ingram Micro previously issued Blackberry phones to all its employees, but moved to a company-wide mandate when the time came to renegotiate phone contracts and they decided not to. Shifting the burden and responsibility to the employee base offered cost reductions for the company and greater independence for the user. I
n this case, employees were asked to pay out of pocket for their own phones, but received a stipend from Ingram Micro for usage. Having the mobile device management software on each of the phones allowing employee access at any time was a concern for the finance and human resources departments at Ingram Micro. But the cost saving and efficiency for employees provided a greater payout for the company.
Company officials agree that technology was the easiest piece of the BYOD program. The legality involving privacy issues is expected to be a bigger concern. Ingram Micro’s position was that as long as they had access to anything related to the company, then any additional information that is personal can remain as such.
In the near future, corporate programs such as BYOD are likely to grow in popularity across the globe as the interest in smartphones increases, especially as sales of the latest version of the iPhone (News - Alert) have skyrocketed. Likewise, companies continue to deploy mobility solutions to accommodate a changing market.
Employees like the ease of mobile device management which lends them the ability to connect their business lives with their personal lives. Company managers could have the perspective that their employees will have constant access to their work so the hours that they put in may inadvertently increase.
Thanks to mobile device management, employees are always connected. Technology now allows us to be connected 24/7 whether we want to be or not. When a problem arises at the office, it can be taken care of at the moment of issue rather than waiting, but this access to technology also allows employees personal lives to be just as connected. The key, however, is employees must be able to set boundaries and maintain balance between work and personal life.
This is the give and take associated with greater accessibility. It has the potential to boost morale at the workplace and employee satisfaction knowing individuals can have equal opportunity to be accessible to both work and home, regardless of location.
Edited by Jamie Epstein