Workplaces today require staff to have seamless access to enterprise networks and data at any time, from anywhere, using a variety of different devices (including company-issued and personal devices).
However, managing these devices effectively isn't straightforward. In fact, your IT team needs to formulate a unified approach to managing both company-owned devices and personal mobile devices. They must also establish robust policies and procedures concerning mobile device management.
Organizations are increasingly adopting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies to provide employees with greater flexibility and mobility. BYOD empowers workers by providing them with the tools they need to get things done from any device at any time.
BYOD policies cover all types of mobile devices, including Apple's iPhone (iOS), Android smartphones, and Microsoft mobile devices.
Both BYOD and Mobile Device Management (MDM) offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. This guide explains everything necessary to help you decide which approach is right for your organization.
What is BYOD?
Bring Your Own Device refers to a policy where users are allowed to bring their personal devices, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more, into workspaces and connect to corporate networks. This will enable them to access company data from anywhere at any time.
What Are the Advantages of BYOD Polices?
There are many advantages to adopting a BYOD policy. However, the key benefits are as follows:
The primary advantage of BYOD is that employees can use their personal devices for work purposes. This means they don't need to carry multiple devices, such as company-issued laptops, tablets, or personal smartphones.
Potential Cost Savings
Organizations can perceive it as upfront savings as they don't have to invest in hardware, and it doesn't cost extra for staff to use corporate apps.
What Are the Disadvantages of BYOD Polices?
BYOD also comes with some disadvantages, and enterprises make sure to pay attention to the following:
Loss of Productivity
Staff may be distracted from their jobs when using personal devices at work. This is because they can also access personal apps, including messaging apps and games, during working hours.
Lack of Visibility
Without leveraging an MDM solution, IT managers won't be able to achieve complete visibility. As such, it will be increasingly challenging to close potential security gaps. It will also make it difficult to remotely wipe sensitive data or lock stolen or lost devices.
Increased Security Threats
BYOD can be a massive threat to enterprise security if it isn't managed properly. If you ask employees to keep their personal devices secure, you create an inconsistent and unmonitored defense across various teams and individuals.
This approach puts enterprise-sensitive data at risk, and their personal data as well. This is because personal mobile devices, left unchecked, can have considerable vulnerabilities.
As employees are increasingly adopting multiple devices, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets, BYOD demands a robust security and mobility strategy. Without a strong plan in place, BYOD can quickly lead to significant device security and productivity issues.
The biggest mistake many companies make is adopting BYOD without established rules or policies to ensure the program is successful. But robust rules and policies alone aren't enough.
What is MDM?
An MDM or mobile device management solution allows IT departments to remotely monitor and control all aspects of mobile devices connecting to corporate networks. This includes managing apps, data storage, device security, and other features.
Cloud-based MDM software typically provides a central inventory of all devices an organization utilizes, alongside insights into their health and performance. It can also help organizations identify missing, lost, and compromised devices.
Whether it's a company-owned device or an employee device, IT admins can then back them up, lock them down, or have corporate data wiped out as necessary. Furthermore, organizations can also leverage MDM solutions to manage IoT devices.
What Are the Advantages of MDM?
The advantages of leveraging MDM solutions are many. Some of the key benefits of MDM are as follows:
Company policy dictates how devices (connecting to enterprise networks) are used in digitally transformed enterprises. IT administrators can control employees' access to various apps and corporate data in real-time, leverage endpoint management, and apply updates remotely to devices throughout the organization.
Consistent Device Provisioning
With MDM, employees can use the same set of devices and technology as before. However, MDM improves end-user productivity and makes troubleshooting easier. It also allows for the quick provisioning of device settings, so new hires don't need to be trained on every single setting.
Maintaining control of your mobile devices means keeping track of them from one place. MDM makes this process easy through centralized visibility and management. Centralized mobile application management also ensures that authentication is required to access enterprise networks.
What Are the Disadvantages of MDM?
When it comes to leveraging MDM software, there is only one disadvantage.
Considerable Upfront Costs
When first implementing MDM, it can appear to be a more costly choice than letting employees use their own devices. But when the potential costs of a data breach are considered, MDM offers more significant long-term benefits.
BYOD vs. MDM: What's the Difference?
BYOD is popular because employees can simply connect their devices to enterprise networks. They can quickly connect and complete tasks on their own device, which they are used to. This approach also makes it easier to switch back and forth between work on the premises or remotely from home.
MDM solutions emerged to solve problems created by BYOD. With MDM, IT teams can remotely wipe devices clean if they are lost or stolen. MDM also makes the life of an IT administrator a lot easier as it allows them to enforce corporate policies, apply software updates, and even ensure that password protection is used on each device. If you just had BYOD, none of this is possible, and enterprise networks may be left wide open to a breach.
BYOD vs. MDM: Who Should Use It?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should avoid BYOD models because they often lead to data security issues and poor employee productivity. Although BYODs may seem convenient, they can actually cause problems such as data loss, theft, and malware infections.
Large corporations, on the hand, can afford to adopt BYOD protocols and take a tiered approach to manage it separately, and securely. However, MDM is still the better approach to ensure productivity and robust cybersecurity.
Employees who bring their own devices into work may not be able to access company resources properly. Therefore, companies should consider investing in an enterprise mobility management solution like MDM instead.
With greater access to corporate data and information from personal mobile devices, there is an increased cybersecurity risk. Therefore, adding a MDM solution to your BYOD plan is also encouraged.
These solutions allow IT departments to control mobile device usage and provide secure remote capabilities to wipe or delete sensitive data. They also help prevent unauthorized users from accessing corporate information.