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You Provide Your Employee Benefits

December 9, 2014

I thought this post from the Reg was interesting.  The popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in the IT world is getting big enough that companies are building products to enable it.

A new service piggybacks a company number on the back of the employee’s personal number to save money for both and make Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) easier.

The idea of people wanting to use their own mobile but have work pay for calls opens a can of worms. The spectre of BYOD brings with it the issue of who pays for calls and who owns the number.

This is an IT cycle that happened really fast.  It was probably less than five years ago that many people were carrying multiple phones because work required one thing, and they personally wanted something different.  And this led to all sorts of confusion as they would gradually abandon the work phone for the nicer personal phone they would buy.  So the solution: let people buy whatever they want, and then drop some company-owned apps on it so that the personal phone becomes useful for work.

I have to admit, I find this somewhat cynical and opportunistic on the part of the companies that do it.  When this first hit, I made the comment that it wouldn’t take long before the company required the employee to buy a personal device for work, and I also wondered just how long it might take before the company got to dictate what things the person could do on their own device.

We’re not quite there yet, but just watch… But the employee base only has itself to blame.  The demand to use whatever tech you can in the job is making it hard for the company to really own anything.  So the company responds by doing what it can as cheaply as it can to make the employees think they’re happy.

Of course, I abandoned all hope of having a productive relationship with my company regarding ways to access me easier when I wasn’t in front of the computer.  It was probably six years ago that I took my phone off the corporate plan and took the number out of the company directory.  Yes, it means I have to pay for my own phone, but it also means that it’s my choice as to how it’s then used for work.  But then again, I’m a total Luddite, and I still use my PC exclusively to do work stuff.

So, I’m an interested observer to what’s going to happen.  And I’m waiting to see how this blows up next.

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