IRS to Test the BYOD Policy for Employees

Friday, December 6, 2013 Print Email

The IRS has announced that it is to pilot a program that will allow their employees to access work emails, and other services, from their smartphones. However, according a report which the TIGTA, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, has released to the public, the IRS' BYOD, Bring Your Own Device, program will have to be cost effective so a full analysis is needed to assess whether it is or not.

BYOD is currently a very popular trend in the world of mobile computing and gives users access to network resources in their own personal devices, such as tablets and smartphones. Even though BYOD has the potential to give organizations savings on their costs, an increase in productivity and improve employee satisfaction, there is also the matter of personal mobile devices needing extra security due to threats such as identity theft and the exposure to malware.

In its report, entitled Better Cost Benefit Analysis and Security Measures Are Needed for the Bring Your Own Device Pilot, TIGTA has evaluated the costs, admin and security to the IRS for its BYOD program. Back in June 2012, the IRS purchased 1000 software licences for mobile device management for the use by those employees who owned personal iPads. Iphone and Android mobile devices. By May of this year, 519 licences were in use, and only 2 of these weren't being used for iPads and iPhones.

TIGTA also found that the IRS had implemented several notable actions for their BYOD pilot, which include take a phased approach as well as taking security seriously. Even though more than $900,000 has been spent by the IRS on mobility, the agency has yet to develop a complete analysis of cost benefits in order to fully justify the full implementation of their BYOD program. The document entitled White House BYOD Toolkit has stated that BYOD programs must be cost effective, and full analysis of the cost benefits is essential.

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