BYOD brings on new issues and chances for IT Support staff

With growing pressure on the IT Service Desk to allow the use of tablets and smartphones for work purposes, it is important to understand how this will affect the IT Support function and the metrics used to evaluate its efficiency.

Perhaps surprisingly, demand for Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) tends to come from Senior Management and C-executives rather than from the more tech-savvy ‘Generation-Y’. These types of users are strongly attracted by new devices and find it easier to work directly from their personal equipment rather than carry around a corporate-approved laptop and phone.

But end users are sometimes unaware of the technical and security issues involved in a BYOD policy.  First of all, if their expensive smartphones and devices are stolen, lost or hacked, the information stored on or accessible through them is at risk, which could result in hefty fines and loss of reputation in the case of a Data Security Breach.

Secondly, BYOD can create new issues for the IT Service Desk. There may be an increase in the number of incidents IT staff will have to deal with, as engineers might not be familiar with the devices and could require additional training. Also, analysts might have to deal with a number of calls that aren’t necessarily relevant to their role, but they are still expected to answer, such as how to download an app or change the ringtone.

These issues will potentially slow down incident resolution and increase the volume of incidents, affecting service levels and therefore any Key Performance Indicators or Service Level Agreements that are in place.

Of course there are also advantages to BYOD: IT analysts can enjoy a more varied environment and get the chance to learn something new. The newly acquired skills will add to their experience, making them more valuable as professionals.

Nick Fenton, Team Leader

This piece appeared in the Summer edition of IT PRO Quarterly Report

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