Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: The perils of BYOD
I'm not talking about the hassle for IT departments when people bring in their own devices. I mean the perils to the people doing the bringing.
Computerworld - Some people love the movement known as bring your own device (BYOD). Some even insist that it's their right to bring their iPhones, Chromebooks or iPads to work. But I've always been wary of BYOD. Recent developments in how businesses see BYOD have moved me from being concerned to being downright worried.
What I have distrusted about BYOD is its potential to become the attractive carrot for the stick of cost-cutting. The BYOD concept was introduced with an emphasis on employee choice, but I never really bought that spin, and the recent developments confirm my fears. The whole point of BYOD, from the point of view of the senior executives who have embraced it, is to save money.
Take, for example, the state of California with its estimated $16 billion shortfall for the fiscal year. Money doesn't grow on trees, even in fruitful California, so Chris Cruz, deputy director and CIO at the state's Department of Health Care Services, decided to cut costs by no longer supplying or paying for smartphones at all but instead requiring employees to use their own smartphones -- at their own expense. The state employee unions aren't happy about this, so it isn't a done deal yet. But it's still a bad sign of what's in store for workers.
Inevitably, requiring employees to use their own devices for work will happen at other businesses -- possibly including yours. One day soon, the CFOs at many businesses are going to sit down with their CIO counterparts and mandate IT budget cuts of 10% (there goes your company-supplied phone), 20% (there goes your company-paid mobile phone and data services) or 30% (there goes your PC).
BYOD is a slippery slope. It started because we loved our tech toys and wanted to use them for work. That was great for executives who could afford to buy the latest and greatest iPad every time Apple released one. But when BYOD becomes a requirement, it's a pain for those in the upper salary brackets and a de facto cut in pay for those who don't make the big bucks.
And we're talking about some major expenses. For instance, in my own case, my Verizon voice and data plan runs me over $1,500 a year. I'm self-employed, so that's part of my cost of doing business. It shouldn't be part of an employee's cost of keeping a job.
Now, take this one step further. Say you don't have a job. Interviews at one potential employer go well and they say they want to hire you -- but your job will require you to have a late-model Android or iPhone smartphone with a minimum data plan of 1GB per month. Don't have them? Well, be prepared to fork over the $500 to get the high-end gear and services, because if you don't, they'll find someone else.
More by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 lives!
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: You can keep using XP for another year, but do you really want to?
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Told you so! Microsoft backs off on Metro
- Steven J. Vaughan Nichols: Windows 9 in 2015: Desperation isn't pretty
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Lessons for IT from Windows 8/Metro
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: The Windows killer: Chromebook
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Amazon Drone: Stunt or service?
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Microsoft after Ballmer: Can this company be saved?
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: From Microsoft, more Windows fail
- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: The Web at 20: What's in store over the next two decades?
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
MDM and beyond: Rethinking mobile security in a BYOD world
Regardless of who purchased the mobile device, if it's being used for
business purposes, it needs to fall under IT's umbrella of protection.
Delivering Enterprise Information Securely on tablets & smartphones
A technical how-to guide-updated for Android 4.2,iOS 6.1, and Windows
Phone and Surface 8
- Best Practices for Making BYOD Simple and Secure BYOD goes mainstream: Formalizing consumerization-and getting it under control
- Pay-as-you-Grow Data Protection: IBM Tivoli's Full-featured Data Protection Suite for Small to Medium Businesses IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Suite for Unified Recovery gives small and medium businesses the opportunity to start out with only the individual solutions...
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,... All Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) White Papers | Webcasts