According to a survey released yesterday by the Pew Internet & American
Life Project, 61 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Employers need to
pay attention to this number. Ownership of smartphones has reached a critical
mass in our society.
Given the proliferation of these devices, it makes sense
that employees are bringing them to work, whether employers permit it or not.
According to another recent survey, conducted by analyst house Ovum [h/t: ZD Net], 56.8 percent of employees use personal devices at
work. Seventy percent of those employees who use personal devices at work are
using a smartphone, and of those smartphone-owning employees, more than
one-third bring them to work either without the knowledge of their IT
department, or in spite of an outright corporate ban on personal devices in the
These numbers mean that a Bring Your Own Device program
is no longer an option, but should be required. If employees are going to bring
personal devices into the workplace, and use them to connect to your network,
you need to deploy reasonable policies to govern their use and protect
your network and security, instead of ignoring the issue or instituting
prohibitions that employees will ignore anyway.
To put it another way, consider this thought from Adrian
Drury, practice leader for consumer impact IT with Ovum, as quoted by ZD Net,
"If you take the King Canute approach and try and drive that behaviour
underground you just lose control of it." Regain the control you need by
rolling out a BYOD program.
If you are considering implementing a BYOD program, start
with these posts from the archives to gain some background on the issues you
should be thinking about:
My latest book - The Employer Bill of Rights: A Manager's Guide to Workplace Law
- also contains a sample BYOD policy for you to consider.
Visit the Ohio Employer's Law Blog for more
Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz,
with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a
partner in our Labor
& Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or email@example.com.
Related: Lisa Stam's four-part series on BYOD
from her Employment and Human Rights Law in Canada blog:
Part 1: Who is Demanding BYOD?
Part 2: Benefits of BYOD
Part 3: Risks & Costs of BYOD
4: Developing a BYOD Program
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