The Impending Business Monster that is BYOD
A memo written by Los Angeles city chief technology officer earlier this week made headlines. In it, Randi Levin asked city employees to stop watching the Olympics, at least on city-owned equipment and using city paid for bandwidth.
This request should hardly have come as a surprise to Levin. As ComputerWorld recently reported before the start of the games, IT managers nervously took note of the time difference between London and the US and realized that much of the competition would be aired during working hours. Not only that, but this year’s Games are taking place in a vastly different context from the Beijing Olympics: there are far more streaming devices in the hands of employees that go on the company tab. Worse, there are data caps now and employees that go over them will cost their employees dearly.
ComputerWorld quotes Daniel Rudich, the senior vice president in charge of real time expense management at Tangoe, who estimates the Olympics could have a 5% to 10% impact on a mobile budget if users aren’t prepared.
But it is not just the Olympics that companies have to worry about. There is the World Cup, the Euros, the US Open, Wimbledon, the British Open, US Masters, The Ashes … you get the idea.
But the real monster under the bed is BYOD (the acronym for Bring Your Own Device to work).This phenomenen is huge in the US and is hitting these shores now!
Already enough employees view a company’s broadband infrastructure as theirs to use for any occasion. That is, after all, the origins of Cyber Monday, which follows Black Friday. Coined ten, fifteen years ago it refers to employees coming back to work after Thanksgiving and using their employers computers and broadband to shop for bargains.
BYOD, assuming it ever becomes mainstream will only worsen these issues. Of course, it may not become mainstream. A lot of companies are reluctant to let these devices, sporting Angry Birds and who knows what other apps, to be used for business purposes. They have come to the realization that BYOD is not necessarily a budget-saver because there are still expenditures that need to be made to get the device compliant and company-ready.
BYOD, though, has gotten a big push, especially as tablets such as Apple’s iPad and the Samsung Galaxy have become so popular with both businesses and consumers. To say nothing of the slew of additional Google Android devices out there. And, indeed, keeping employees happy is something any decent company should strive for. But there are other ways they can do that — one, off the top of my head, would be a salary increase that is slightly more than the cost of living.
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