From: Declan Grogan, Managing director, NDL
Sir – There were some fascinating examples of mobile working in last month’s issue of Housing Technology, and indeed our own research has found that as many as 68 per cent of housing providers have either implemented or planned mobile working projects for their employees.
It’s fantastic to see that housing providers are embracing these projects and staff will undoubtedly benefit from the flexibility that mobile working allows, while the housing providers themselves should see significant cost and efficiency benefits. What is yet to be seen is how the hot topic of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes will fit into this equation.
By allowing employees to use their own smartphones or tablets at work, cash-strapped housing providers don’t need to provide expensive hardware for all staff; this is great news for the finance department but it has the potential to cause headaches for the IT team. If BYOD initiatives are to work in organisations that handle sensitive data, there needs to be a clear separation between the personal and professional uses of each device. There must also be a way to wipe all or part of the device’s memory if it is stolen or lost.
As mobile working becomes more popular, the debate around BYOD is likely to intensify, particularly given the straitened financial times we live in. What is vital is that IT teams engage with the ever-evolving technology that can help tackle the issues with BYOD. Concepts such as containerisation, wrap-around apps and mobile device management platforms mean that there’s the potential to implement BYOD schemes in a strategic, cost effective and secure way. This will allow IT departments to be seen as actively offering a solution, rather than being seen as the department that points out problems, a brush that many IT departments are often unfairly tarred with.