Only five London borough councils have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scheme in place, according to a new report released by think tank Parliament Street.
Using a Freedom of Information request Parliament Street found that Camden Council has the largest scheme in place, with 252 employee devices in use.
Other councils pale in comparison, with Wandsworth sporting just two devices in operation and the majority of the 14 councils contacted having none at all.
Steven George-Hilley, Parliament Street technology director, said that BYOD as a policy is either non-existent or has gained so little traction among councils that the point of having it is rendered “meaningless”.
“Despite the overwhelming case for BYOD schemes in local government, London borough councils have made a pitiful effort to explore and implement these important initiatives,” declared George-Hilley.
The BYOD report said that certain factors such as security concerns, scheme implementation and employee awareness were barriers to the adoption of mobile device schemes.
Furthermore, the research declared that there is a need to shift the onus of BYOD onto the worker, as public organisations cannot face the expense or taxpayer scrutiny of purchasing devices on their employees’ behalf.
Parliament Street hopes that its research will encourage public-sector organisations to adopt BYOD schemes and inject some innovation into their IT strategies.
“The era of cautious technology implementations is rapidly coming to an end, as CIOs and IT managers are now turned to for strategies that will transform the workforce and deliver solid financial savings to the organisation,” said George-Hilley.
When asked how Parliament Street would recommend bringing about improved BYOD adoption, the think tank told V3: “We recommend that councils collaborate and share best practice to develop BYOD schemes. At the moment, it appears schemes are operating in isolation and thus are at a very low level of development.”
While the general future of BYOD in local councils may be hazy, as the report indicated, Camden Council has a successfully implemented and growing BYOD scheme. V3 recently reported that iPhones and iPads were proving to be the most popular devices used by Camden Council’s workforce.