BYOD gaining ground in UK Parliament

BYOD gaining ground in UK Parliament

Considering its impact in the US, and its adoption by the nation's government, it was perhaps only a matter of time before bring your own device (BYOD) arrived within the corridors of the UK's Houses of Parliament.

Joan Miller, director of Parliamentary ICT (PICT), claims that the rise of BYOD has been born out of previous experiences of using mobile devices. As recently as 2009, those working on mobile devices had a limited choice between either a BlackBerry or basic, cheap smartphone.

Ms Miller told Computing.co.uk: “What was clear was that people were choosing their own devices instead.

“One of the very big demands from Members prior to the last election was to be able to choose their own devices. So we went into the 2010 election having planned an offering that enabled us to safely present emails on most mobile devices.”

She added that although there were a few Members that appeared reluctant to adopt such a new approach, yet a vast majority managed to recognise the benefits.

Ms Miller describes one of the main activities within the House as being the publishing of compromising documents, whether it be proposals, white papers, proposed legislation or reports.

Not only do these reports need to be kept in a safe and secure environment, but they also need to be readily accessible to Members.

This would have meant that countless Members would often be seen wandering around the corridors of power with stacks of papers that were frequently inches high.

The concept of a paperless approach was therefore seen as a sensible solution, with smartphones and tablets viewed as the main ways in which to achieve such a goal.

Ms Miller adds: "They gave it a really good go, and they had paperless committees after about three months. Then, they ran those paperless committees for another nine months.”

She claims that at the end of that period, only one Member had not adopted the new method.