Mobile devices are commonly promoted as productivity enhancers in the workplace, but could bring-your-own-device (BYOD) 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?
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:
A2 Speaking as an employee w/ a mobile device: surge! Brain responds well to working when and how you can be most productive. #CIOChat— RachelTT (@RachelatTT) June 12, 2013
A2 Speaking personally, I couldn't do my job half as well without my personal devices. My smartphone saves my bacon all the time. #ciochat— Wendy Schuchart (@wendyschuchart) June 12, 2013
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:
A2: The apps will lead astray the best laid plans of mice and men (and Angry Birds). #CIOChat— Wendy Schuchart (@wendyschuchart) June 12, 2013
So, what can CIOs do about this?
I did an unscientific survey of surgeons and doctors last week and it was a 3:1 split for iPhone versus Android/Other #CIOChat— Wendy Schuchart (@wendyschuchart) June 12, 2013
@RachelatTT not in a good way...Shadow IT, but cannot stand Apple.— Sarah H Grady (@SexHairGirl) June 12, 2013
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.