July 14, 2015

Seventh-graders don’t want two smartphones

by Jim Annis, @AppliedCoCEO

We are preparing the next workforce, and they are preparing us. Generation Y, Z and younger definitely have their personal preferences that will influence whether they choose to work for you or a competitor. BYOD is a term that means a worker can bring their own device — smart phone, laptop, iPad, etc. — to work. It is a sticking point now and contention will grow as younger employees push back on their employers' need for risk management.

How to manage at the company level

Do not fight it. Even schools have given up on banning devices and govern their use instead. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report on millennials, over half of respondents routinely make use of their own technology at work, and 78 percent said that access to the technology they like to use makes them more effective at work. Statistics from TrackVia report that nearly 70 percent of surveyed millennials admit that they use their own devices and software, regardless of their employer's policies.

Big data or little data — it belongs to the company

At The Applied Companies, our smartphones are company-issued and belong to us. Employees may have their own cell phone for personal use only. Wherever data goes, it is ours — and that is supported by recent case law. I have learned to appreciate the value of and control over possession of my company's proprietary information. You know that database downloaded on the phone that our company created? That is mine. It is not the right of an employee to do with what they choose. As a business owner, if you can embrace that, you are golden.

Model policies

Sixty percent of workers access company data on smartphones and tablets. Only one-third of companies have implemented management tools and processes. The first decision you face is 1) have all corporate-owned devices; 2) BYOD; or 3) a hybrid. Second, will you allow outside users access to your network resources? At minimum, you should address these issues: devices allowed; security policy; service/support policy; which apps are allowed/banned; integration with acceptable use policies; employee exit strategy and process. The following software can help manage the process, especially for company owned phones:

Mobile device management (MDM): Software-based enforcement of security policies with respect to network access, application download and usage, service usage, and device security.

Mobile content management (MCM): Focuses on secure document management through authentication, authorization, and access.

Mobile application management (MAM): A software-based security suite that focuses on securing access and actions of applications rather than entire devices.

Tired of the detail already? Delegate! Consult with HR as well as your IT folks. Creating clear communication now will lessen BYOD gray areas and save you headaches on the back end.

Jim Annis is president/CEO of The Applied Companies, which provide HR solutions for today's workplace. Celeste Johnson, Applied's division director, contributed to this article.


Read article in the RGJ here.

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