Cambridgeshire County Council embraces BYOD practices

Cambridgeshire County Council embraces BYOD practices

The local authority governing the county of Cambridgeshire has announced plans to roll out a new bring your own device (BYOD) scheme for as many as 4,500 users.

The council’s initiative goes live today and the new working practice will come complete with DME mobile device management (MDM) software from Excitor, which allows users to download an application onto their mobile device.

All work-related business is conducted through the app, which has the ability to keep personal and company information separate, which has a positive effect on security measures.

Alan Shields, strategy and architecture manager for IT services at Cambridgeshire County Council, revealed that BYOD and MDM will allow the authority to retain control over its information security, while providing flexibility for its employees.

"There is a clear demarcation on the phone, because we wanted separated identities. Users don’t use the mail app on phone, they use the one on the container. They also can’t download other apps into the container. So it creates a compartment that is secure," he said.

The council is keen to make cost savings by allowing users to use their own devices, as well as paying lower data charges.

"It’s not huge amount of savings but it will improve productivity and it is a more modern way of working," Mr Shields told Computer Weekly.

"In organisations someone is probably doing BYOD already. But unless you have a programme and scheme, they’ll be doing it in an uncontrolled manner and bypassing systems. In most cases they are not doing it to be malicious, but because it makes work life easier."

Thanks to the MDM software being implemented at the council, it can remotely wipe data and information if an employees device is lost or stolen and if they leave their position and work elsewhere.

The initial pilot involved 50 people, with 150 volunteering, and should it prove to be a success it could see a host of other local authorities implementing BYOD.