A new “bring-your-own-device” (BYOD) program at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (E.E.O.C.) was born out of a necessity to lower agency costs for wireless devices, according to an article at GovLoop.com. The agency was spending $800,000 for government-provided devices, an amount that it could not sustain in the face of budget reductions.
With a goal of cutting wireless costs by 50 percent, the E.E.O.C. offered its employees an opportunity to opt out of receiving a government device and instead use their own smartphones. Twenty-three percent of them decided to “bring their own.”
E.E.O.C. managers are now strongly advising other agencies to consider conducting BYOD cost-benefit analyses. When they delved into the usage patterns of their employees, they found that 75 percent of Blackberry users never used the telephone services. And they were also able to move everyone with government-provided devices to a shared minutes plan at a very low cost level.
The article notes a grassroots demand going on right now for BYOD. Employees have realized that their own mobile devices have a computing power that they want to take advantage of in the office. But problems do arise when management allows a variety of different devices from different carriers to enter an existing network.
Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Agency (F.A.A.) added tablet computers to its new BYOD program, called the Alternative Forms Factor Operation Pilot program. The agency did not endorse any one product in particular, but popular demand was for iPhones and iPads. The agency started with tablets, because they had the highest productivity rates in the F.A.A. environment.
—More info: www.govloop.com