The Unintended Consequences of Consumer Devices at Work

Workers may believe that the “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend makes them more efficient and productive, but what are the unintended consequences of utilizing consumer devices and apps as enterprise work tools? Unlike PCs, most smart phones and tablets on the market today are intended mainly for personal use. Many of the handy applications and features on consumer devices weren’t created with enterprise use in mind, and may actually expose the organization to risk.

Speech recognition features are a good example to consider. Apple introduced its own “Siri” conversational interaction app for the iPhone 4S in October 2011, supporting applications such as messaging, calendar, clock, contacts, email, maps, music, notes and web browser, and causing an immediate stir. But what most users didn’t understand was that the lion’s share of Siri processing was being conducted in Apple data centers.

This resulted in unexpected data plan charges for many unhappy users, requiring fast footwork by Apple to more clearly explain Siri’s complex computational model. In May of 2012, another PR fire broke out when IBM banned employees from using Siri after discovering that Apple routinely stores Siri users’ voice data for an undisclosed period (the company has since revealed that it keeps that information for up to two years). After Apple refused to answer questions about this policy and how the data would be secured, IBM pulled Siri’s plug.

In contrast, the integrated speech recognition features planned for devices based on Intel’s “Haswell” processors will occur entirely in-system, allowing end users and their employers to manage voice-enabled applications and data in compliance with specific corporate and security policies. In addition, hundreds of developers have downloaded Intel’s Perceptual Computing SDK with the likely result that Haswell-based systems will have access to a host of innovative speech-based apps and services.

For more information on BYOD's affect on enterprise collaboration, please see Part 1 of this BYOD blog series.

For a full report on this topic, please see the attached whitepaper. This whitepaper originally appeared as a post by Charles King on pund-it.com.

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