#CIOChat

Can you increase productivity with a personal-device-driven workforce?

Mobile devices are commonly promoted as productivity enhancers in the workplace, but could bring-your-own-device (BYOD)

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do more harm than good for an organization? With millions of mobile applications available for download, who's to say employees aren't sending a quick Snapchat or trying to beat their high score in Angry Birds between checking emails?

In our June tweet jam, SearchCIO-Midmarket asked participants to weigh in on the productivity gains -- or losses -- that occur when employees bring personal devices into the office:

Some of SearchCIO-Midmarket's writers, editors and contributors confessed -- or perhaps crowed? -- that they're never without their personal devices. With access to their corporate email and applications that encourage continuous communication among team members, they're able to do their job 24/7:

Being productive on-the-go is extremely valuable in this day and age. Outside of an employee's 9-to-5 hours, many people play a role at home as parents or caretakers -- and some even hold part-time positions at other organizations. BYOD allows users to customize their work schedule and environs:

According to our tweet jammers, organizations that offer this kind of flexibility can increase workers' productivity. But, as follower Walter Paley cautioned, personal devices might tempt employees to check Facebook, play a quick round of Tetris or message friends about after-work plans:

So, what can CIOs do about this?

This brings us to the idea of ownership. SearchCIO-Midmarket contributor Christine Parizo and another tweet jam participant went back and forth on the issue of app restrictions:

Then, there's the age-old question in the realm of smartphones in a business setting: iPhone or Android?

Whether our tweet jam participants prefer iPhone, Android or Blackberry, there was little argument regarding the productivity that mobility generates. But BYOD can also lead to too many social networking breaks or even compromise the security of company data. In order to create a safe, secure BYOD environment, CIOs must stay on top of security threats tied to BYOD.

To read the entire tweet jam, search #CIOChat on Twitter and follow @CIOMidmarket to stay up to date on small business CIO news, tips and trends.

This was first published in June 2013

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