If I scan my daily journalist requests, it won’t be long before I find one that links to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or more recently Bring Your Own Apps (BYOA). As the working world gets to grips with cloud computing, employees are being given more flexibility in how they manage business data using mobile devices. A recent report from Citrix found that in the UK, more than 90 per cent of organisations are seeing employees downloading their own apps for business. Like with the company car and business phone before it, BYOD and BYOA signify a change in how employees shape their own working life.
As an avid football fan, I can’t help but draw parallels to the player/manager disputes, big money contracts and Twitter outbursts that arise every week. Player power is bigger than ever and could spiral out of control in years to come. It’s up to club owners and managers to take strict action, ensuring that players toe the line.
Away from the soccer fields, businesses may also need to put restrictions in place to limit employee freedom. Mobile devices and apps need to be accompanied by stringent procedures and comprehensive training if employees are to use them freely. Data is a valuable asset to any business and they can’t afford to let workers dictate how they manage company information in and away from the office.
Employees are pushing the boundaries and it is accepted that work practices are evolving. I wonder what balances organisations will need to make in 10 to 20 years’ time? Carlos Tevez may get away with playing golf in Argentina for months rather than putting on a Manchester City shirt, but I doubt tomorrow’s businesses can be that lenient.