The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday Sept. 30, 2011 that Research in Motion, the manufacturer of BlackBerry, has been struggling with how to market their new tablet device. RIM only shipped 200K PlayBooks for the three months ending in August, Apple shipped 9.3M iPads. Winner: Apple. To increase sales, RIM was trying to decide: was the PlayBook a mobile device for use by the business user or ordinary consumer? The answer to this question is “Yes”. Business users and ordinary consumers will use mobile devices at the same time. This change represents a fundamental shift in how business and personal data will be managed within firms.
Earlier this year in the MRIS Resource, I predicted the rapid growth of mobile devices represents a major trend that would have a profound impact on the real estate industry. One resulting impact is the emergence of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy – where employees are allowed to choose and bring their personal mobile devices to the office to access business systems and perform their work. With BYOD, firms no longer provide separate devices for business use.
A BYOD policy is quickly being adopted by many US businesses – for good reason. In a recent article I wrote for Information Week, see below, the benefits and risks of this policy are described. For most real estate brokers, the main issue that needs to be considered is how will you ensure your firm’s data remains safe when it coexists on the same physical device that also contains your employee’s personal data? Additionally, when agents change offices, how will you ensure any sensitive data is protected and remains with your firm?
If you haven’t thought about the issues that arise with managing mobile devices and a BYOD policy, now’s a good time to start before your firm experiences a security breach or runs afoul of data privacy laws. If you follow the guidelines in the accompanying article, you have a good starting point to protect your firm’s data and your personal data.
Allowing Personal Devices At Work: A Faustian Bargain? By Michael J. Belak – InformationWeek