When I began attending college, I found myself using a smart-phone for school purposes too. As technology advanced over the years, I found myself utilizing my smart-phone in all parts of life, even in my place of employment (with a tablet thrown in for good measure). I could even be writing this blog post from my smart-phone! I’m not, but I very well could be.
In recent years, more and more people have begun using their own electronic devices at work and school; hence, the term BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. In most cases, BYOD refers primarily to cell phones and tablets, however as technology advances, so too does the ability for employees with a disability to enter the workforce.
What I mean is that BYOD has been expanded to include forms of adaptive technology, which is technology that helps improve functional capabilities of people with a disability (*seen on a previous blog – Adaptive Technology).
Some examples of technologies that you cannot necessarily put in your back pocket, but would fall under the category of BYOD include1:
- Hearing related devices, including Bluetooth streaming devices
- Humidifiers for respiratory conditions
- Warming devices
- Mobility devices not used at home
- Alternate cleaning supplies
- Color overlays
We’re seeing more and more individuals with a smart-phone, or another assistive technology device in their back pocket… So, what are some pros and cons about this relatively new phenomenon?
|On One Hand||On the Other Hand|
|Businesses lose some control over how the electronic hardware is used when in the hands of employees.||Businesses can pass some of the cost of technology over to employees. As a result, employees are able to have the latest features and upgrades at their disposal.|
|Other pitfalls may become apparent in dealing with electronic security with some controls out of the hands of a business.|
|About half of the smart-phone and tablet users do not password protect their devices leaving them vulnerable.||Production has increased, even outside working hours. About 70% of employees regularly check their email, including work email, from their phones.|
It’s predicted that by 2015 the number of mobile devices will have grown to 2 billion worldwide, which is a 300% increase from 2009.
70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018. Employees will willingly spend an average of $965 on their devices and $734 on internet data plans by 2015.2
So what is a business to do as a result of the inevitable technological tsunami that is BYOD? I’m glad you asked. Stay tuned for another blog coming tomorrow. Same BlogForce time. Same BlogForce channel. Where we’ll identify guidelines for developing a BYOD policy.
1 Louis E. Orslene, MPIA, MSW. BYOD! (Bring Your Own Device). Retrieved from http://askjan.org/ENews/2014/Enews-V12-I3.htm#5
2 BYOD skyrockets in popularity for 2013 – here are the stats to prove it. Retrieved from http://vbridges.com/2013/12/20/byod-skyrockets-popularity-2013-stats-prove/
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.