We have commented in the past about ‘Consumerizaton’ of technology and the trend for employees to bring their own technology to work. A recent report suggests that a growing number of employers are encouraging Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) schemes, and employees are willing to pay for the privilege.
In a recent study of over 400 technology decision makers, CIO Magazine found that 24 percent of respondents encouraged employees to bring technology to work now, and an additional 22% said they would do so within 18 months. On the reverse side, 69% of the respondents work for organizations that do not allow employee owned technology at work, but this percentage drops to 37% in the same 12- 18 month window.
Some employers are realizing concrete benefits from these schemes. Nearly one-third of respondents indicated both lower hardware and support costs. A greater percentage – 43% – indicated they are not able to quantify direct savings.
Employees see benefits in the plans, having similar technologies to work with at home and at work. According to the researchers, allowing the use can boost morale by satisfying demand for current, familiar technology. In commenting on the study, CIO Magazine writes: “employees are pushing for freedom of choice as consumer devices outpace corporate ones in features and usability.”
And employees seem willing to pay a price for this. The report sates: “Sixty percent of technology decision-makers whose organizations currently encourage or require BYOT say the employee is responsible for covering the cost of all personal devices used at work while 36 percent provide a capped allowance or stipend to help cover the cost.”
The use of emplyee owned technology is not a slam dunk for IT professionals, who are (rightly) concerned about security, privacy, and effective use of technology. However, there are common sense rules that can be applied which can mitigate concerns. CIO Magazine provides a case study of Law Firm Foley and Lardner’s approach to deploying 400 iPads. According to its CIO, taking a positive approach is key. “You hear a lot about why you can’t do something rather than why you can do something,” says Doug Caddell, CIO at Foley and Lardner.