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Mandatory BYOD heading your way

Tom Kaneshige | May 2, 2013
To land or keep a job people may soon be forced to buy a personal smartphone, sign away some of their privacy rights and use the phone for work. It's called a BYOD mandate and, according to research firm Gartner, you better get ready for it.

If a company chooses to pay for the mandated BYOD smartphone in addition to the service plan, then the BYOD policy will need to address reimbursement.

"A lot of companies are offering to subsidize the cost of mobile devices over, say, a couple of years," Karlyn says. "If you leave the company during that timeframe, and the company has already reimbursed you, then perhaps you might have a financial obligation to the company. That's a new concept."

A mandate in a BYOD program is akin to pouring fuel on a wildfire. It makes everything a little more intense. It's one thing to opt-in to a BYOD program, reap the rewards and suffer the consequences. It's quite another to be forced into it.

There are unforeseen consequences with a BYOD mandate.

For instance, let's say a company institutes a BYOD smartphone mandate. One of the employees has a poor credit rating and can't obtain a phone with enough data and minutes to do his job. Does this impact his future with the company? By having to disclose his poor credit rating, was his privacy violated? With a BYOD mandate, your credit rating might affect your ability to hold or land a job.

Nevertheless, Gartner's survey results are crystal clear: A BYOD mandate is coming, and it's going to shake up the workplace.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," Willis says.


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