Are you ready for BYOD (bring your own device)? The trend, which allows construction workers to use their own devices for both professional and personal purposes, has a number of implications for construction companies such as who owns the data and how are the devices secured, just to name a few. Building a solid foundation with a BYOD policy could be key.

In its second annual survey on corporate email and file transfer habits, DataMotion, www.datamotion.com, Morristown, N.J., finds there is a disconnect between IT management and non-IT employees on security and compliance policies.

When looking specifically at BYOD, the survey uncovers that 56.1% of IT management says the company has a BYOD policy in place, while 74.9% of non-IT employees say they either don’t have a policy or are unsure. This indicates that in many cases the policies are not being clearly communicated.

Why is a BYOD policy so important in construction? For many construction companies, a big challenge with BYOD is ensuring the data is secure on employee-owned mobile devices. As such, contractors need to develop a policy that balances the needs of the business and the user.

One homebuilding organization exploring the benefits of BYOD is Habitat for Humanity Intl., www.habitat.org, Americus, Ga. The organization has more than 1,500 affiliates in the United States, has helped to build or repair more than 800,000 houses, and also has a number of volunteers involved in each building project.

Recently, the company announced it has a long-term mobility strategy that includes the use of technology and BYOD practices.

More specifically, Habitat for Humanity is implementing a BYOD program that will allow employees in certain job functions to enroll their personal mobile phones with AirWatch, www.air-watch.com, Atlanta, Ga. With the enterprise mobility management technology, participants in the program will be able to have access to their organizational emails, contacts, and calendars. The companies say AirWatch will manage Habitat’s deployment of more than 300 devices.

For homebuilding companies, BYOD can minimize the expense of paying for company-owned devices. However, developing a policy is essential to ensuring the data is secure on the mobile devices and is able to be wiped once a project is completed.