A shake up in California has some wondering if Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs have already run their course. A legal ruling set down Aug. 12 by the Court of Appeals in the case of Cochran v. Schwan’s Home Service is the source of this concern as the ruling states that “when employees must use their personal cell phones for work-related calls… the employer [is] to reimburse them.” This one quote strikes directly at the heart of BYOD programs and one of their strongest benefits. Enterprise cost savings.
Certain IT departments may be happy with this ruling as it could deter some organizations from pursuing these employee centric mobile strategies that cause major them major headaches for them. However, we may have gone too far already to turn around now with these employee owned devices seemingly becoming the main source of communication and access to data for both personal and work related activities.
While only in California just now it would seem as though the enterprise is stuck between a rock and a hard place. Maybe BYOD will not save us money in the end while still inviting in more security risk? Do we scrap this initiative all together? Can we even stop the onslaught of employee owned devices? These are questions that the ruling is going to force the enterprise into asking.
This ruling and the issues around reimbursements and the negative impact on costs savings are another issue that highlights the importance of a BYOD strategy and comprehensive policies around usage. Concrete and clear policies will help protect both the employee and the enterprise from any BYOD ramifications.
Check out the ruling in more detail here, and let us know what you think this means for the future of BYOD programs.
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