What federal employees can learn from adopters in the private sector.
Experts who have read the tea leaves for 2012 say more federal employees will begin to bring their own devices to work in the new year, but why should they?
The consumerization of IT has led to more people bringing their preferred technology to work. In the federal government, the push toward a more mobile workforce means that employees could soon see an environment in which any device is acceptable, whether it is a smart phone, tablet or laptop, something Casey Coleman, CIO at the General Services Administration, highlighted at a conference in October.
Her colleague, Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker, also made some predictions earlier this year that it wouldn’t take long for federal agencies to allow workers to use employee-provided devices that could connect to the network, FierceGovernmentIT reported.
But while the federal government is inching its way toward a more widespread adoption of BYOD, the private sector long ago realized BYOD is more than code for “my CEO bought an iPad,” as CIO.com's Kim S. Nash put it.
According to a November survey by Citrix, more than 90 percent of the companies polled said some employees are already using noncompany-issued computing devices for work-related tasks. Those surveyed reported that nearly 28 percent of the workforce is already using noncompany-issued computing devices for work-related tasks, a number expected to reach 35 by mid-2013.
So what motivates users in the private sector to adopt BYOD? According to the survey, the top 10 drivers were:
1. Ease of working off-site.
2. Employees have relevant equipment.
3. Attract and retain top talent.
4. Decrease device management costs.
5. Attract and retain younger workers.
6. Attract and retain other worker types (such as home-based).
7. Reduce training and on-boarding costs.
8. Enable self-service IT.
9. Bolster business continuity.
10. Best way to handle proliferation of devices.
For the federal workforce, it’s hard to see that the list would look much different. Weigh in: What’s your No. 1 reason for wanting to bring your own device to work? How open is your agency to a BYOD policy? Does it make any sense in your particular role to BYOD?