Government regulations prohibit council BYOD schemes

Central government regulations are preventing councils from deploying ‘bring your own device schemes’ (BYOD), public sector IT chiefs have told Computer Weekly.

Central government regulations are preventing councils from deploying "bring your own device" (BYOD) schemes, public sector IT chiefs have told Computer Weekly.

BYOD schemes are increasingly being used in private sector organisations as a way of reducing capital expenditure and allowing greater flexibility for staff. 

But Angela Wint, IT customer support services manager at Merton Borough Council, said: “At the moment, being compliant with the government’s Code of Connections makes it difficult to implement a ‘bring your own device' scheme.”

Speaking at a roundtable event organised by IT service management company Hornbill, Wint added that the government appears to be relaxing some of its regulations. 

“In the past they were so heavy we didn’t even know if government connected to its own network. But things seem to be changing and we are keen to get the ball rolling on such schemes,” Wint said.

Another public sector IT head, who asked not to be named, told Computer Weekly separately that current regulations would create "a major issue" for organisations looking to roll out BYOD schemes.

“Current requirements placed upon us by the information owners to keep information secure dictates that flexible working can only happen if the organisation has total control over the device. This is demonstrated by the restrictions within the Codes of Connection that the Department for Work and Pensions places on local authorities if they facilitate home workers where it is not practical to provide organisation-owned equipment,” they said.

Security solutions from providers can only go so far in resolving this issue, they said. “The problem still exists because trust in these new services is not completely there at the moment and the processes to get them accredited are too long.”

A recent global study of 700 CIOs revealed that 94% of organisations are planning to allow staff to bring their own devices to work by 2013.

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