BYOD and consumerization as a challenge for HR professionals

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How employees legally use their employees' personal devices in their operations is a topic that still raises many questions - especially for HR departments.

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Simone Janson is a publisher and board member of the Berufebilder Yourweb Foundation.

What is Consumerization?

The current trend “Bring your own device”, or BYOD for short, sounds so simple and logical: Employees no longer get a company cell phone, but use their own smartphones, emergencyebooks and tablets even at work.

They have them anyway, without employers can prevent it. Consumerization is therefore also called BYOD.

According to a survey by IT company Citrix Systems, 31 percent of companies surveyed around the world already have bring-your-own-device policies that govern how employees can use their own devices for work. More 37 percent are planning to implement it over the next two years.

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Happier and more productive employees?

That's not just for the Company At first glance, cheaper, the employees are happy - and supposedly even better work.

A multi-year study carried out by TNS Global Research on behalf of Dell and Intel shows that freedom of choice in technology increases employee productivity by more consciously, more freely, and more flexibly adapted to their needs for a terminal.

What do BYOD guidelines do?

But caution is required, consumerization raises a number of technical and legal issues: Above all, must be strictly separated on the end user's work and private.

For example, when data is synchronized with private contacts, calendars, or cloud services, the company's data is in danger; conversely, privately used applications pose a significant security risk to the company's IT system. There are several technical solutions to this problem:

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Security for the company

So you can install on the devices an application that manages an encrypted data container with all official data and access. The Frauenhofer Institute has developed such software with BizzTrust. Another possibility is the company data also in the

To let processing on the company's servers. However, it always requires a working Internet connection that can not be guaranteed in rural areas or abroad. It is safe to install different virtual machines.

A trendsetting trend

However, this requires deep intervention in the operating system, which invalidates the manufacturer's warranty and requires special drivers that are not available to all devices. Finally, newer smartphones have the solution ready on board: Here you can easily switch between different user profiles.

No doubt, consumerization is a trend-setting trend that companies should be aware of. It would be a mistake, however, to see it as a pure cost-saving measure: employers who want to introduce BYOD guidelines should also deal in detail with the disadvantages and examine different technical solutions. Because data loss can be expensive.

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