Is Your BYOD Policy MIA? Why You Need One to Keep Millennials Happy

Is Your BYOD Policy MIA? Why You Need One to Keep Millennials HappyFor millennials, it’s unthinkable not to be connected at all times. And they want to be connected through the best devices available. (This desire is not limited to Millennials, of course. I’m desperate for the new iPhone 6S.) Over the past few years, employers have begun experimenting with “BYOD” (Bring Your Own Device) policies to fill this need without breaking their IT budgets in the process.

But just allowing millennials to use their mobile devices isn’t a policy in and of itself. IT departments need to figure out how to marry their need for security with millennials’ propensity to download what they need when they need it.

The articles below discuss why a mobile-friendly policy is a must, and how IT departments can integrate that reality with the resulting security issues.

The next-gen workforce expects a mobile-ready workplace. HRM Canada:The views of the next-gen workforce are clearly expressed in the survey; 96% expect mobile technology to have a permanent future in the workplace; 22% would be less likely to join a company that did not use mobile tech; and 65% would like technology as an employee benefit…Josh James, CEO of Domo management platform, says, ‘Today’s world is moving to mobile so rapidly that companies without a mobile-first mentality will have a difficult time attracting and retaining customers, and a far bigger challenge attracting and retaining talent.’”

IT departments have gaps when it comes to preparing for millennials. Staffing Industry Analysts: “Companies whose IT infrastructures don’t support the needs of millennials — people born between 1980 and 2000 — could find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring new talent, according to research released by Randstad and IDG Research Services, which surveyed IT managers across a range of U.S. company sizes and industries. Although many IT departments say they are preparing for the shift, there are major gaps, according to the report. ‘I think we have a quiet crisis developing,” said Rob Hubley, delivery director with a special focus on mobility and applications at Randstad Technologies. ‘There is a gap between what IT can provide and what users want…” The survey also found IT managers realize they have neither the staff nor all the skill sets they need to support the millennial shift. Less than one-third reported that they were very or extremely confident in either area.”

Millennials pose greatest BYOD risk. Banking Exchange: “Millennials prove to be a greater data security risk compared to other age groups, says Absolute Software Corp, following a recent study. However, many small business owners believe BYOD (bring-your-own-device) poses no threat to their company and have no interest in spending on mobile device security—while employees themselves think security is the responsibility of the business. A separate study by Kaspersky Lab found that 92% of respondents say that they keep sensitive corporate data on smartphones and tablets which they use for both work and personal activities. In addition, 60% are concerned about the threat of surveillance and information theft via mobile devices. Yet they do not actively protect themselves and rely on their employers to do so.”

Millennials And Smartphone Apps: Your Security Nightmare. InformationWeek: “Their collective attitude towards mobile security is especially nonchalant, and over half (56%) of millennials download apps without reading permission details. This might seem like a trivial, even unnecessary step to a generation so accustomed to sharing personal data. ‘Millennials live online,’ notes Caleb Barlow, vice president at IBM Security. ‘They’re very used to sharing their information.’ There are two major problems with this.…Most apps are dangerously open paths for hackers to access mobile data…Most are unaware that their behavior is leaving both personal and corporate data vulnerable to hackers.

How is your company addressing millennials’ need for mobile tech and your BYOD policies? I’d love to know — please share in the comments!

Lindsey Pollak helps the world’s top organizations understand the millennial generation and thrive in today’s multigenerational workplace. A New York Times bestselling author, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her keynote speeches have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one millennial attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to learn how she can help your organization understand and connect with millennials.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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