The perils of BYOD

By , Computerworld |  Consumerization of IT, BYOD

Now, take this one step further. Say you don't have a job. Interviews at one potential employer go well and they
say they want to hire you -- but your job will require you to have a late-model Android or iPhonesmartphone with a minimum data plan of 1GB per month.
Don't have them? Well, be prepared to fork over the $500 to get the high-end gear and services, because if you
don't, they'll find someone else.

Sound like nonsense? Not if you've been following the unemployment news. To quote from a recent Brooking Institute report,
"It has always been harder to find a job the longer you are unemployed. But the situation facing American workers
today goes well beyond historical norms. For all unemployed workers, the probability of finding new employment in
today's economy is considerably lower than it was prior to the Great Recession."

In other words, the less likely you are to be able to afford the kind of gear and services that BYOD requires,
the less likely you are to be able to find a job. It's a vicious cycle, and BYOD feeds right into it.

Let's set aside the financial issues. What about the problems with mixing work and personal life on the same
device? Say you write to your sweetie from your phone and then the company wants to dig into your text messages and
e-mails. Where are you then? It's your phone, but it holds a lot of the company's data. Whose rights will prevail
in these situations?

What happens if the office insists that you update your software and you're left with a brick instead of a phone
or tablet?

Say that your device goes on the fritz but you still need to get your job done -- and there's no device to loan
you. Is your boss going to give you any slack? I don't think so. And, by the way, a CTO told me this has happened
often in his company.

Or say you're working on a personal software project on the same device you use for work. Who owns your project?
This is an eternal problem in tech circles, but BYOD is only going to make it messier.

As I see it, we're on our way to an economy where the reaction to BYOD goes from, "Gee, it's so neat that I can
use my gadget at work," to,"Jeez, to keep this lousy job, I have to pay for my own hardware and services, and I
have no privacy."

In other words, BYOD is going to transform from being a neat benefit to being a painful job requirement. Just
remember, I warned you.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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