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Bring your own computer to work to cut costs, council staff urged

Published date: 09 November 2012 | Published by: Gareth Dennison



Rotherham Council wants staff to use their own equipment instead of council Blackberries.

ROTHERHAM Borough Council hopes to save more than £100,000 a year by getting staff to use their own phones and laptops for work.

Corporate ICT manager Richard Copley said the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ scheme had been given ‘overwhelmingly positive’ feedback during a six-week trial.

Apps and other software programs would enable employees to use various personal devices, including smartphones and tablets computers for professional business.

But some staff fear ditching council-issue BlackBerry phones for their own might pile on more stress and leave them unable to switch-off from work.

Mr Copley said: “This initiative sees an organisation’s employees using their personal computers, tablets and smartphones to access the organisation’s IT systems and data.

“It has been commonplace in the private sector for several years but adoption in the public sector has been slower due to the more sensitive nature of the data being accessed and concerns around data security.”

He added council data could be encrypted on personal phones and computers and remotely deleted if the device was lost or stolen.

He added: “There is some concern that BYOD will lead to a blurring of the work/personal life boundary.

“To help mitigate this risk BYOD users will be trained to use a Call Control app. This can categorise a user’s contact list in to ‘work’ and ‘personal’ and, at the touch of a button, configure the phone such that work contacts are blocked as and when the user sees fit.

“In addition the user can set up their phone so that they can prevent their personal number being revealed when using their phone for work calls.”#

The council currently uses 510 BlackBerrys at an annual cost of £100,612. More than 100 new ones are issued a year.
Most of the BYOD savings would be made after this contract expires in July 2014.

Under the current system, the council has to foot the bill for some personal calls made by staff on work BlackBerrys.

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