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BLOG: Your BYOD category

Daniel J. Lohrmann | April 26, 2013
Daniel Lohrmann provides guidelines to categorising your BYOD situation based on your approach to items such as company policies, security, reimbursement plan and use of mobile device management (MDM) software.

Not all of you will fit perfectly into one of these three scenarios; in fact, you may fit into multiple categories. Still, try to generally determine your BYOD level as gold, silver or bronze. Keep in mind that oftentimes the BYOD environment may be different within the same company. For example, some businesses may reimburse executives who bring their own devices, but not students or lower level staff. 

Also important to note: if you are working for a company or government that openly forbids BYOD, strongly enforces security policy against BYOD, warns employees that personal devices can never enter their work spaces and consistently practices what it preaches, you are not in any of these three situations. I put you in another "steel" environment, and I urge you to NOT bring your own device to work at this time. Defense and intelligence community jobs that require top secret clearances are examples of this steel environment.

The bottom line is use your own judgment for your individual situation as I've never met your boss.

Evolving Situations

The good news is that technical capabilities and innovative solutions will constantly change our environment. So, just because you are in the bronze category now, doesn't mean you'll be there next year, or even next month.

While the gold environment may seem to be most optimal for employees with the most extensive opportunity for use of their own devices at work, more privacy protections in place and reimbursement for most charges, there are still advantages to silver and bronze environments. For example, bronze may offer more flexibility with software choices and less monitoring of personal activities at home.

Traditional boundaries between our personal and professional lives are disappearing, and we seek ways to integrate and simplify our online experiences-a trend often referred to as the consumerization of IT. If devices aren't password protected, backed up and able to support the ability to be wiped in the event that they are lost or stolen, major security issues can arise.

Don't be hesitant to suggest to management that the company needs a BYOD policy update. Well-meaning professionals are taking risks by ignoring this trend.

The goal is to maximize your BYOD benefits within the boundaries of your company's rules, but understand that your suggestions to move to a higher level (silver or gold) could benefit both parties.

Plus, just think how your leadership efforts could impress your boss and benefit your career.

This post is excerpted from BYOD For You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work, by Daniel J. Lohrmann. It is posted by permission of the author and publisher. All rights reserved.


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