Councils to continue BYOD adoption

Councils to continue BYOD adoption

The implementation of a bring your own device (BYOD) trend among those in local councils across the country is unlikely to halt any time soon, despite Cabinet Office data sharing regulations around the Public Services Network (PSN), a new report has claimed.

A study conducted by the public sector IT managers' association Socitm has claimed that there are currently ongoing discussions between itself, the Local Government Association and the Cabinet Office about how best to approach BYOD, which has become one of the most popular technology trends of the last year.

The organisation's report, entitled  "A balancing act: current approaches to BYOD in local public services", suggest that the demand from public workers to use their own devices while on the job has mainly been fuelled by a consumerisation of IT services.

It claims that it is a development that should not only apply to workers in the council's IT department, but also HR, finance and legal professionals.

But although the report acknowledges that such an approach can save councils money, there is something of a security headache for many public services using such an approach.

Data compliance is especially important with many councils requiring certain compliance needs in order to be connected to the PSN. It is therefore of the utmost importance that councils keep their information safe by developing rigid and coherent policies relating to the way in which such a policy is implemented, with clearly defined procedures for employees to follow if the device they are using is ever lost or stolen.

"Individuals have become tech savvy and will look to circumvent ICT policies if they feel they are being hindered from doing their job", said Martin Greenwood, programme manager for Socitm Insight.

"Socitm benchmarking data shows a significant drop in user satisfaction with ICT services where restrictions on flexible practices like BYOD have been imposed to allow connection to the Public Services Network (PSN).

"Socitm is continuing to work with the Cabinet Office, its members and suppliers to resolve these obstacles to rapid adoption of BYOD by local public services," Greenwood said.