What is your employer’s Bring Your Own Device Policy? Do you know if they have one?

In January we launched the Future of Work campaign with the Globe and Mail, profiling Canadian businesses that are using technology to gain a competitive advantage and transform how they operate. While their stories are being shared, we also wanted to hear from you. So we are posting regular poll questions around today’s technology trends on the Globe and Mail website and sharing the results with you over the next few months. 

Our first poll question asked you about your workplace’s bring your own device policy (BYOD) policy:

Does your employer have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy?

1)     Yes, it allows devices to be used for business and personal (36%)

2)     My work forbids us from using our own devices for work (27%)

3)     I’m not sure (36%)

I was very encouraged to see “Yes” tie for the most votes in our first poll. This response echoes the results we saw in the first chapter of Cisco Connected World Technology Report in 2012:

  • 90% young Canadians check their smartphones the moment they wake up
  • 63% of respondents check their devices compulsively throughout the day, and when they aren’t making phone calls:
    • 90% upload photos
    • 87% check their Facebook
    • 56% use their phone for Twitter

Obviously these devices are becoming an extension of us, and it’s great to see that one-third of Canadians can use the devices they are most comfortable on at work.

What is also clear however is that confusion exists among employees about whether they have a BYOD policy. The challenge will be for Canadian IT managers and administrators to give clear direction to employees on BYOD policies moving forward.

Why? Because as laptops, smartphones and tablets continue to become more engrained in all aspects of our lives, the workplace of the future must include policies that welcome devices of employees. The pervasiveness of these devices ensures that the issue of BYOD policy adoption is a matter of when, not if.

BYOD is just now becoming a part of popular debate among IT managers and business decision makers so it is not surprising to see a large number of respondents unaware of where their employer stands on this issue, but look for this number to drop drastically in the new few years.

Answer our current Future of Work poll question on the Globe and Mail website and check back soon for the results.

About Ian Gallagher

Ian Gallagher is the general manager, collaboration for Cisco Canada. He leads a national team of collaboration product specialists responsible for working with Cisco partners and customers to create and execute business-impacting collaboration strategy and architecture. Ian Gallagher est Directeur général des services de collaboration de Cisco Canada. Il dirige une équipe nationale de spécialistes de produits collaboratifs dont la responsabilité est de travailler avec les partenaires et les clients de Cisco pour créer et exécuter une architecture et une stratégie collaboratives ayant un impact commercial.
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5 Responses to What is your employer’s Bring Your Own Device Policy? Do you know if they have one?

  1. Mark says:

    This is a tough question.

    I understand employers don’t want their employees to spend half the day on Facebook and SMS messaging. But personally I don’t think it is a good idea to ban the devices.

    The only place I can see that it would be necessary with a ban on own devices would be in areas with classified information.

    • Ian Gallagher says:

      Thanks for your comment. You raise two very good points that any company considering BYOD must address. Once organizations have decided that there needs to be some element of “yes” to their BYOD policy, the policy often needs to answer some deeper questions…

      The hope is that user productivity will actually increase with BYOD as employees use their own devices in the office but also while away from their desks. Security will always be a concern, so businesses must create policies that reflect the sensitive nature of their data and adequately prepare for personal device usage. In your example, a company with sensitive information present may institute a policy that dictates personal devices are only allowed if, and where, the network is capable of recognizing these devices and preventing any access to confidential systems or data. I blogged about this in another post last year: http://canadablog.cisco.com/2012/10/10/why-a-byod-plan-is-more-than-just-policy/.

  2. Pingback: BOYD: your employer’s Policy? | World Of Innovations

  3. Shereka Harver says:

    Our healthcare facility put up a BYOD policy about a year ago, because a lot of doctors were texting patient info to other doctors or admin, and SMS texting is not HIPAA compliant. We built the policy around using a HIPAA compliant text messaging app (tigertext) that is install on all the devices/phones. Here is a sample of the BYOD policy: http://www.hipaatext.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/BYOD-Policy-20130213.pdf

  4. Pingback: Is your small business ready for a mobile workforce? | Cisco Canada Blog

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