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BYOD Driving Productivity at the Expense of Security

11/22/2011 by: The SunView Team

There was a time when Blackberry devices were dispensed to employees almost as if they were part of the new-hire welcome packet. While that is, to some extent still occurring, organizations looking to cut costs are starting to remove what many previously saw as an electronic leash. For a company, this reduces what they might see as unnecessary costs, at a time when IT bottom lines are under heavy scrutiny. Unfortunately, for many employees it's more like cutting them off from a tool that improves productivity.

Almost like an addiction, employees have become used to having mobile access to core office communication tools - email and phone mainly. Take this away, and there can be trouble. In many cases employees that may have at first despised the always-connected-to-the-office features of a RIM device, can no longer do without that functionality.

In response, these same employees have purchased personal smart phone devices, and now expect to integrate them with their professional lives - expecting to return to their previous, much more productive selves. At first glance this is a win-win for companies looking to save costs while maintaining productivity - brilliant in design, but like many things, flawed in implementation.

The first part of the equation has proved to be correct. In a recent article from IT Wire, as much as a 30% gain in productivity can be seen among some Australian organizations (Around 16% and 11% for US and UK respectively) that have welcomed personal devices (for business purposes) onto their network. Unfortunately, at the cost of all this productivity is something that can set organizations back further than any gains a personal device could provide - security. As nearly a third of US, UK, and Australian organizations report concerns over security risks associated with BYOD, we have to ask the question - will it prove to be worth the risk?

Image: Flickr, Phil Roeder