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The number of Transport for London (TfL) staff using their own devices at work increased by 170% last year.
According to data from a Freedom of Information (FoI) request by the Parliament Street think tank, just over 2,300 TfL workers registered devices to the transport department’s bring-your-own-device (BYOD) scheme in 2017, compared with 816 the previous year.
This equates to about 8% of TfL’s total staff using BYOD-registered devices at work in 2017, compared with 3% in 2016.
The FoI request revealed that 1,326 employees have already been registered this year and that the iPhone is the most registered device.
BYOD enables staff to use their own computing devices at work. This aims to improve productivity through enabling workers to use devices they are used to.
But there are challenges for organisations running BYOD programmes. For example, security needs to be a top priority, as it is at TfL. “We take personal security management extremely seriously and each device has a unique password. We regularly analyse our authorised user database, and our information security policies are refreshed to address the changing cyber threat landscape,” said a TfL spokesperson.
BYOD, if left unchecked, could open doors to cyber attacks. A recent survey from SME card payment services firm Paymentsense revealed that out of 500 SMEs polled in the UK, 61% said they had experienced a cyber security incident since introducing a BYOD policy.
Adam Perry, director at connected transport provider Resonate, said TfL was moving in the right direction. “Building a truly digital transport service means enabling staff to work on devices they are familiar with, which will inevitably improve productivity,” he said.
But Perry added that transport providers could benefit more by making better use of the data collected on devices.
“Increasing mobility is only the first step in enhancing the transport network,” he said. “It’s also vital to share critical data such as insights into arrivals, departures and timetables. This will enable every team member to make informed decisions based on accurate information, and improve customer experiences for the long term.”