BYOD: ‘Just the beginning’

“Bring your own device,” or BYOD, has been a buzzword for agencies trying to keep up with the 21st century and save costs. But the “bring your own” concept is just the beginning, according to Energy Department CIO Robert Brese.

“I am almost certain we will see the advent of ‘bring your own app’ and ‘bring your own data’ in the workplace,” Brese wrote in a July 16 blog post. “Beyond that, it’s anyone’s guess.”

During Hurricane Sandy, the Presidential Innovation Fellows program addressed challenges such as fuel shortages, food and medicine and damage assessment. Apps not originally developed for government use but powered with data crowdsourced from private entities and various levels of government became vital. And according to Brese, this practice will become a standard for all business.

“I believe we’ll see more of this in the future,” he said. “Not just during emergencies, but during routine business as well. Recruiting and retaining the next generation of business and government leaders will demand our willingness to grant digital natives the ability to leverage IT and data in ways we cannot yet imagine.”


Two years ago, the White House and the Office of Management and Budget worked with CIOs to put together a BYOD toolkit. And according to Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission CIO Kimberly Hancher, the next era of “bring your own” will be for computing devices.

“There’s a big paradigm shift CIOs need to make, because workers of the future are from the younger generation,” she said. “They are better suited to use the technology they’re proficient on, which may be their own computers.”

Agencies implementing a “bring your own computer” policy could see increased employee productivity and cost savings, Hancher said. A large chunk of an agency budget goes toward purchasing laptops and computers for new employees — costs that could be lowered if employees were allowed to use their own device.

Technologies such as Virtual Desktop Integration and Iron Key, an encrypted flash drive, would keep secure remote workers’ data and information. Hancher said in the future, she would like to permit employees to use their personally owned computers for remote access and telework.

Both Brese and Hancher agree the “bring your own” technology trend will continue to evolve alongside technological abilities, pushing agency CIOs to start preparing for what’s ahead.

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