Construction firms must transition to BYOD
May 30, 2013
Mobile apps and cloud technologies are shaping the future of the construction industry, paving the way for construction software to be deployed in the cloud and linked to smartphone and tablet apps. However, before being able to take advantage of the potential of these innovations, construction companies must figure out a clear "bring your own device" (BYOD) policy.
Businesses must figure it out soon
Construction firms that have yet to formalize a BYOD policy should begin to work on their plan for how employee-owned devices can be used in the workplace. According to recent research from Gartner, nearly four in 10 companies are expected to stop providing their staff members with smartphones, tablets and laptops by 2016. With apps and the cloud becoming a bigger part of how construction companies are doing business, compromises need to be made. Employers and their members may be able to decide on a happy medium when it comes to how employees should pay for the devices they are supposed to be using for work. David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, has an idea.
"We're finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes," said Willis. "They often use a personal device in business. Once you realize that, you'll understand you need to protect data in another way besides locking down the full device."
Security should be top-of-mind
After deciding how mobile gadgets will be financed, the next thing construction companies need to consider is how the devices will be secured. Lost or stolen smartphones or tablets can be devastating to a firm as they will likely hold critical business information. More than 50 percent of Gartner survey respondents said they already feel good about the security of their corporate data, but this number needs to increase. When having a BYOD policy, businesses need to have some way to ensure important data cannot be compromised.