Rethinking BYOD in Government Agencies

Both in the commercial and public sector, some employees want the freedom to use their own devices to perform their work. Employees have a comfort level with their own devices that they think leads to higher productivity. Many employers and some government agencies are obliging, as they realize benefits such as cost savings.

But there are significant security and productivity concerns with BYOD (bring your own device) programs. For example, do devices have sufficient security features to protect against hacking, or block access to data if they are lost or stolen? Can all employees efficiently connect with other devices such as meeting room displays and printers, if they each have different connectors? How can IT support such a broad range of devices in the event users experience technical issues?

Answering such questions without introducing more complexity is not easy. Therefore selecting and provisioning a set of devices that your employees can choose from is a good middle ground; employees get choice, and organizations can ensure more consistent standards around data security and productivity.

Offer Employees a Choice of Company-Owned Devices

All end user devices should be company-owned and managed by IT under a program where you offer employees a choice of devices. In this way, not only do users get choice, but your organization still benefits from the enhanced security features and common productivity standards found in business-grade devices like ThinkPad and ThinkCentre.

  • Consider business-grade devices with the highest level of build quality, support services, security features and connectivity options. For example, access prioritized tech support and on-site servicing. Or achieve the highest security standards with hardware-based fingerprint readers which are much harder to hack.
  • Audit job roles in your organization to get user input on preferred device types. Today there are many types of device available, each with their own advantages for different worker roles. Gain user buy-in ahead of time to ease the transition to your new program.
  • Look for devices with Intel® Active Management Technology, which enables IT managers to discover, repair and help protect networked computing assets. They can also remotely erase all the data on a device which has been lost or stolen.
  • Simplify PC deployment with a solution like Advanced Deployment Services. This is a customizable self-install wizard that enables final configuration steps to be performed by your end users instead of a technician. Whether joining a domain, installing software, setting up printers or migrating data, you can empower your end users to self-serve and reduce the burden on IT admins.
  • Use Windows 10 Pro security features to help protect data in the event of a human error or if a device is lost or stolen. For example, Windows Information Protection helps prevent unauthorized or accidental sharing of institutional information and allows you to remotely delete data from a lost or stolen device. BitLocker data encryption, supported by many ThinkPad and ThinkCentre devices, will encrypt all data on a device, ensuring it cannot be accessed by unauthorized users.
Rethinking BYOD in Government Agencies

CYOD is really about allowing users to be more productive along with being able to enforce IT security. It is not about trying to regain any control; it is actually loosening the reins a bit to increase end user productivity.

Chad Holstead, President of Business Knowledge Systems


  • We offer a wide choice of devices for your employees to choose from, but with a more consistent set of productivity and security features than a BYOD program could.
  • Support services for ALL your users, including prioritized tech support addressing both hardware and software, and on-site servicing.