Cheif Learning Officer Solutions for Enterprise Productivity

How to Make BYOD Work

 -  6/26/13

Employees increasingly expect to use their personal devices at work. To meet this demand and protect proprietary information, companies have to ensure IT departments can support a BYOD infrastructure.

Bring your own device (BYOD) represents an emergent practice in many organizations. In the past, work PCs were assigned, as were phones or anything else needed. But people are starting to bring their own technology to work with expectations that IT will support it.

For those deploying enterprise learning, BYOD can cause nightmares. But companies have been on the front end of major technology transformations before, said Avron Barr, director of the International Federation for Learning, Education, and Training Systems Interoperability (LETSI), a nonprofit organization focused on technology in learning. To make BYOD work, learning leaders must first determine if a device strategy fits an organization’s learning needs.

Retailer The Gap employs thousands of hourly workers. Even though most of them have a personal mobile device, Sue Puhlhorn, the company’s senior director of learning and organizational effectiveness, said those hourly employees need to learn on site when time can be scheduled. She said anytime-anywhere learning overly complicates wage and work restrictions at the federal and state level, although the company is evaluating iPads as an in-store delivery platform.

Delivering training to employee devices is a good fit for organizations that already embrace BYOD, but they must be willing to invest to develop an infrastructure that supports employees’ learning needs while protecting their assets.

The right environment for BYOD will empower employees. In that environment:
•Sensitive information is already tagged, secured and monitored.
•The company is willing to focus on new learning investments.
•Secure file synchronization services are in place.
•Policies are in place for device types, participation eligibility, service-level expectations, deployment and training, shared cost model, security, acceptable use, support and maintenance.

“This is not a learning problem, it is an enterprise infrastructure problem, and the chief learning officer shouldn’t be dealing with it at all,” Barr said. Further, vendors have a responsibility to keep up with the technology. “When the iPhone first came out, Flash vendors got nervous, but once the iPhone had that huge adoption curve, especially in corporations, there was no question. Flash wasn’t going to do it for you.” Adobe underlined the Flash risk when it withdrew its mobile version.


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