BYOD policies in local government explored

Some local governments are further ahead than others with BYOD, research finds


A new report has investigated the use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives in local government, discovering they could do a lot better.

In fact, only five out of 14 of the London boroughs surveyed in the report had BYOD schemes.

Camden led the charge by far, with 252 personal devices activated on the network, most of which were iPhonea. However, this still only represents four per cent of the entire organisation.

The borough has increased the take up of its scheme too - only 74 people were using their own device for work purposes in 2012, with 171 on the BYOD scheme in 2013.

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Wandsworth was at the bottom of the pile, with only two devices listed as BYOD, although nine of the boroughs did not provide a response and so were recorded as having zero BYOD activity in operation.

The report, prepared by Steven George-Hilley, director of technology at Parliament Street, concluded that there should be "calls for a bolder, more proactive approach from IT decision-makers to push through personal device schemes in in the workplace wherever possible."

He explained the barriers of adoption for local governments include security concerns, who will manage the process and implement it and whether employees are aware they can use their own devices for work.

Additionally, if local governments do decide to roll out a BYOD strategy, they must ensure the the necessary protocols, procedures and training is in place to make it an effective scheme, George-Hilley said.

All three of these factors apply to any enterprise and should not be exclusively applied to local government. However, George-Hilley noted local governments were in desperate need for "visionary IT leadership" and should be setting a precedent for other organisations outside of the public sector.

Councils should "factor in planned reduction in personal IT devices such as tablets and laptops and shift the onus onto employees to provide preferred devices where possible," he said.

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