In a recent article on our UC Voice for IT blog, I discussed how BYOD can be a dangerous thing for any enterprise network, and how we must be careful to control their use or suffer the consequences.  But why suffer it at all?  Although some organizations feel that it is a benefit to have employees using their own personal devices for work purposes, (that’s one less that they have to purchase for them) many companies feel it may not be worth the risk.  Unfortunately for them, workers feel that using their personal device is not just a privilege, but a right.  In fact, a recent Fortinet survey revealed that 55% of responds felt it was their right to use their personal device at work.

The blame falls on dependence of social networking, says the survey by Fortinet.  35% of respondents claimed they couldn’t go a day without social networks, and 47% said they couldn’t go a day without SMS.  So this makes you ask the question, is this considered acceptable use?  Many users claim since they often check work emails and respond to them on lunch breaks or after hours, that much of this time balances out.

There are options.  You could completely lock down the phones once they are part of your network and prevent them from accessing social networks or prevent certain applications, but if they are personal phones is that an acceptable move?  Prevention doesn’t always work either, as 36% of those surveyed have stated that they would violate any rule banning personal devices at work, and 30% would violate banning of certain applications.  If that many are willing to come out and say it, imagine how many are sitting in silence thinking they would do the same thing.  Is the want for these devices at work really that high?

This info-graphic shows that the demand for smart consumer devices in the workplace is on the rise.  Within the next few years, the majority of companies will be allowing personal devices in the workplace, and will be support a handful of remote workers.  Companies aren’t the only ones making big changes though.  50% of workers now consider the employers technology tools when deciding whether or not to work there.  Being on the leading edge of technology is going to have to becoming a top priority for many workplaces.  Many companies have already started buying top end Macintosh products to keep up with their popularity in the workplace.  The Mac vs. PC gap is the lowest it has been since the 90’s with the ratio at about 20 PC’s sold for every 1 Mac.  Just in 2004 that gap was almost 60-1.

With the amount of personal devices available, it seems almost impossible to stop them from coming into the workplace.  They can be amazing useful, a distracting toy, or an incredible burden.  Whether you feel they are a privilege or a right, they are bound to show up inside your walls, as the demand for smart devices grows each day.