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Could BYOD work in the UAE?
As the ‘Bring your own device’ movement becomes increasingly popular, is the UAE workplace is ready for BYOD?
July 11, 2012 3:40 by Eva Fernandes
Do you like the computer or lap top you use at work? Is it efficient/fast/flexible enough for you? Are you fond of lugging around the outdated company Blackberry given to you?
If you answered in the negative to the questions above, chances are you would be a fan of the Bring Your Own Device scheme. As the name suggests, as per the rising popularity in consumer technology, some companies are encouraging employees to bring in their own tech-toys to the work place.
The advantages to a company are numerous. According the consultants at A.T. Kearney, the BYOD scheme is likely to help a company save up to 22 percent—as far as software purchase and maintenance is concerned. They found that a pilot study with the BYOD approach resulted in a reduced device management costs by 20 percent with the budget for maintenance and upgrade tasks by 80 percent.
From an employee’s perspective, if you opt for such a scheme chances are you are really fond of the tech you own. You bought that phone, laptop or tablet because you enjoy the way the device works—why else would you cough up a few thousands on the latest iPad? Wouldn’t you be happier if you could just use it at work rather than the slow dinosaur of a MAC you have been stuck with for the past three years?
Stephen Ardill, Partner at A.T. Kearney Middle East says “companies willing to accept personal devices in the workplace are reporting improved employee productivity and satisfaction, as well as lower costs with this approach.”
Ardill makes the argument GCC businesses should embrace this movement in order to cut costs and improve employee satisfaction. But Kipp is skeptical. We know security is a big concern in this part of the world and when it comes to BYOD we can’t disagree. If employees have access to a company’s confidential data on their personal computer or phones things get very complicated. What happens if that employee is fired or leaves the company-how then does the company retrieve its private data? And what about security regulations to ensure that your company’s data is not vulnerable to hackers when your employees take their personal computers and phone into public WiFi hot spots?