Wired Workplace Wired WorkplaceWired Workplace
How information technology is changing the landscape for federal employees.

Who Foots the BYOD Bill?

ARCHIVES

There’s an interesting conversation going on at GovLoop about the blog post I wrote late last month on GovLoop’s recent report on bring your own device, or BYOD, policies and the ability of such policies to enable cost savings and boost employee productivity.

“I think that BYOD is inevitable because the current model of the government furnishing devices is just not sustainable and justifiable, given the high cost to the taxpayer,” one GovLoop member wrote. “The perk of a government-furnished phone and laptop will go the way of government cars, shuttles, free parking, travel and personal offices. The government of the future will be mobile, agile, flexible and creative.”

One of the major drivers of BYOD is the potential costsavings for federal agencies. At the same time, agencies face a major hurdle in determining how to reimburse federal employees to ensure they are not personally incurring the cost of increased data usage from work-related activities.

GovLoop Community Manager Andrew Kzmarzick notes in the report that agencies might consider overcoming this hurdle by looking at other ways in which government reimburses employees. “Many agencies already reimburse or defray the cost of using public transportation for work-related travel,” he said. “Could BYOD determine the average cost of an employee voice and data plan -- both on the enterprise and personal levels -- and include an allowance for employees to cover the cost of using their own device while reducing the agency’s expenses?”

Another major hurdle for BYOD at federal agencies going forward is ensuring employees not only participate but that both they and their managers can use it effectively, a sentiment shared by several GovLoop members. In fact, one GovLoop member compares the use of BYOD in government to that in the U.S. school system.

“One of the beefs of the local high schools with BYOD is the lack of expertise in combining the device with the classroom effectively, not to mention the far fewer than expected participation,” the member wrote. “Maybe in the case of government, if the agency and the employee could see eye to eye on the exact use, it would benefit each side more. … And I wonder if fear from lack of understanding by the teachers or in this case, employers, is another roadblock.”

What are your thoughts on these potential roadblocks to BYOD and their potential solutions?

Reporter Portrait for GovernmentExecutive.com

Brittany Ballenstedt writes Nextgov's Wired Workplace blog, which delves into the issues facing employees who work in the federal information technology sector. Before joining Nextgov, Brittany covered federal pay and benefits issues as a staff correspondent for Government Executive and served as an associate editor for National Journal's Technology Daily. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Mansfield University and originally hails from Pennsylvania. She currently lives near Travis Air Force Base, Calif., where her husband is stationed.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.