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10 reasons to bring your own device to work

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'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?

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

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Reader comments

Mon, Dec 19, 2011 TN

Cannot see this when the use of names, DOB's, SSN's etc (commonly known in my line of work as Personal Identifiable Information or PII for short) for the work we do. Just look at what happens when this type personal info is on someone's laptop and it is stolen or compromised. What a mess this can cause, let alone the money involved to inform everyone that their personal data has been stolen and the possible Identity Theft that can occur and to pay for a year of free credit monitoring and restoring. When are we all going to learn that the Federal Government jobs ARE NOT like a regular civilian jobs? We cannot use thumb drives, we cannot use external hard drives, we cannot visit some websites even if it is job related. Get a grip folks!!!

Fri, Dec 16, 2011

I use my own devices: laptops, workstation, scanners, cameras/audio, video equipment because my equipment enables me to use updated software and accessories not issued by my office. They task me with the projects that their antiquated equipment won't handle.

Thu, Dec 15, 2011 Diane DC

My only concern is whether my device would become discoverable in a government legal proceeding because of work I had done on it. Other than that, I love using my own electonic devices.

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 FL

This will never happen in DoD. Hell, you can't even use a thumb drive to move data around unless the thumb drive is blessed. You also would have to have a brain damaged, DoD approved operating system installed on your device. Trust me, no one wants that!

Wed, Dec 14, 2011 Elaina Yreka, CA

I don't want to carry two cell phones, one personal and one for work. So I use my personal cell for both. It would be nice if my agency picked up some of the cost and risk, but I'm willing to take it on myself just because a separate phone for work is just a dumb idea for me. I know that would give some folks the heebie-jeebies, but I hand out my phone number outside the agency so rarely that it hasn't been a problem.

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