There is a lot of buzz in federal offices about staff using their own personal devices for work.  Thanks to a reversal in attitudes, new federal guidance actually encourages a policy that was once completely frowned upon – BYOD.

Obviously there are rules and guidelines in place for the growing number of government agencies catching on to the idea of BYOD- Bring Your Own Device. BYOD programs hope to reduce costs, increase program productivity and effectiveness, improve user experience, and adapt to the changing workforce. Each program will vary depending on the agency and guidelines.
Whether it is a smartphone or a tablet, increased productivity and accessibility, government case studies have shown the value of allowing workers to BYOD.

A recent survey, sponsored by Mobile Work Exchange, (previously Telework Exchange, the Alexandria, Va.-based group formed in 2005 as a public-private partnership to examine telework and mobile options for federal workers) demonstrated the benefits BYOD was able to provide federal employees in their jobs and gave them more flexibility for telework.

As reported in Network World, “Out of the 314 federal employees who responded to the survey, 49% said they use their personal devices for work-related tasks, with 93% of these citing they use their own laptop, 64% saying they use their own smartphones, and 19% using a personal tablet for work purposes.”

Before an agency makes the decision to participate in a BYOD program, considerations should be given to issues related to security, cost-benefit, technical, and even potential legal responsibility. Federal guidance specifically speaks to the need for devices to be configured and managed with information assurance controls directly corresponding to the sensitivity of the data as a part of an overall risk management framework.

Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who currently works as a professional writer, blogger, social media expert, commentator, editor and public affairs practitioner. Diana previously worked as an editor and senior communications analyst for the Department of Defense.

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Diana M. Rodriguez is a native Washingtonian who works as a professional freelance writer, commentator, and blogger; as well as a public affairs, website content and social media manager for the Department of Defense.