How to Handle Employee-Provided Tools in the Workplace

26 Jun, 2013 By: Robert Green

More and more CAD managers are dealing with the BYOD (bring your own device) problem in their workplaces. Whether it is employees habitually texting or updating Facebook on their phones, accessing their desktops remotely via an iPad or laptop, or even using cloud file storage sites, managing the use of employee-provided tools is a vexing problem.

I've been reading a very helpful, and thorough, write-up on the management of BYOD issues from Cisco called the "Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Smart Solution Design Guide."

Whether you choose this resource or another, I urge you to start reading up on the topic now. Also, I would like to point out the following key considerations that you must be ready to deal with:

  • Policies. Your company must create a uniform policy addressing employee-owned devices. Policies will vary from one company to the next, but you must have one, and it must be consistent.
  • Network connectivity. Will employee devices be allowed to log on to your local-area/wide-area network or not? There are profound data-security issues to ponder when making these decisions.
  • Storage. Are employees allowed to store proprietary company information on their personal phones, tablets, or cloud accounts?
  • Password and data protection. Will employee devices have to use certain security tools or be password-protected? How will you enforce this? Think about how much your company could lose if an employee laptop with design data on it was stolen — and it required no password for access.

To be sure, these are profound questions with no easy answers. And while you may think that all this is IT's problem, CAD managers will certainly have to deal with these issues as cloud design methodologies become more common. I recommend you start educating yourself now!

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About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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