Cambridgeshire County Council is to roll out a mobile phone bring your own device (BYOD) scheme for 4,500 users.
The local authority is taking the BYOD scheme live on 17 January 2013, according to Alan Shields, strategy and architecture manager for IT services at the council.
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Installing Excitor DME mobile device management software allows users to download an app, which sits on their mobile phone. All council-related use is conducted through the app, which gives the phone two separate "personalities".
The BYOD scheme will enable Cambridgeshire Council to retain control over information security, while giving workers greater flexibility, Shields said at the Government ICT 2013 event.
“There is a clear demarcation on the phone, because we wanted separated identities. Users don’t use the mail app on phone, they use the one on the container. They also can’t download other apps into the container. So it creates a compartment that is secure,” Shields said.
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Cambridgeshire already has around 1,000 BlackBerrys, which Shield said the council is looking to reduce through the BYOD scheme.
Cost savings include not having to pay for the devices and lower data charges, he said.
“It’s not huge amount of savings but it will improve productivity and it is a more modern way of working,” Shields told Computer Weekly.
“In organisations someone is probably doing BYOD already. But unless you have a programme and scheme, they’ll be doing it in an uncontrolled manner and bypassing systems. In most cases they are not doing it to be malicious, but because it makes work life easier.”
The software has been accredited by CESG, the government's security arm.
Cambridgeshire Council can remote wipe information on the app if data is compromised without affecting personal data such as holiday photos.
The initial pilot involved 50 people, with 150 volunteering. Shields said no training was involved.
“We just gave them one side of A4 paper and told them how to download it from the app store, so they could then configure it themselves and get on with it,” he said.