Should Companies Let their Employees to Use Personal Devices to Work?

In my last blog I describe the advantages and disandvantages of having a mobile phone. Now I want to introduce to you if companies agree to let their employees to use their own Smartphones to do some office work.  A device where besides your personal information, will also have some important company data.

So You Want to Use Your iPhone for Work?

In The Wall Street Journal, Roger Cheng reports how the smartest companies are letting employees use their personal gadgets to do their jobs.

He explains how this arrangement can bring benefits for both sides.

“ Businesses don’t have to buy as many phones for employees. Employees, meanwhile, don’t have to carry two devices around, and people who didn’t get a company phone before can have one now”

But there can be also some disadvantages in letting employees using their own devices.  Not all Smartphone’s offer trustable security features. But allowing personal phones raises a few questions:  “How much control does a company have over the device? What happens, for instance, when somebody leaves the company—and their phone is loaded with sensitive business documents?”

Roger Cheng claims that companies that have seen the most success are giving their employees the most freedom.  They request their employees to take responsibility for keeping the device safe by using complex security functions and passwords in all  that concerns the company.

“Companies that are being successful are moving away from dictatorial approach to a shared-responsibility model,” says Ken Dulaney, an analyst for research firm Gartner Inc.

For a video about the topic from The Wall Street Journal click here.

But now let me introduce you a company that is not just giving their employees the freedom of bringing their devices to the workplace, also a company that offer others the chance of letting their employees to use their own devices to work.

The Solution

Like I mentioned in one of my earlier post, the Citrix System Inc. a vendor of virtualized desktop software created a “Bring your own device to work” program that helps companies to give their employees new freedom to choose their own preferred workstyles and computing habits.

Benefits of the program for the business:

  • Make IT more agile and strategic –> with the ability to deliver secure enterprise resources to employees on any platform or device.
  • Give users freedom –> Let employees choose the devices and locations that match their personal workstyle and make them most productive.
  • Create a flexible business –> Transform your business culture and improve morale and productivity by giving your workers choice and flexibility.

The key challenges include:

  • Empowering users to access enterprise data, apps and desktops on any kind of operating system.
  • Enabling application portability and data backup even as users work beyond enterprise networks and move from device to device over the course of a day.
  • Getting control over unsactioned apps and websites of all information workers to preserve data security and integrity.

But how does it work?

What Citrix does is to create a virtual desktop and application for your company that provides people with the freedom and flexibility to choose where, when and how they work, with a simple condition:  IT maintains completed control over security and performace with no need to own or managed the physical device or its location.

  • Citrix XenDesktop: is a desktop virtualization that transforms Windows desktops and applications into an on-demand service available to any user, anywhere and on any device. But what is desktop virtualization?  The operating system, apps and data are decoupled from the underlying PC hardware and moved to the datacenter, where they can be centrally managed and secured by the IT department of a company.
  • Citrix Receiver:  is a software that lets you access enterprise data, applications and desktops from any computing device including smartphones, tablets and PCs.

The softwares Citrix XenDesktop and Citrix Receiver give IT the power to allow employees to use their own devices to work without the risk of losing precious informations to strangers.

In my next post I will be writing about some strategies companies could take to protect their important data.

So, if you want to know more, come back and read some more!