BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a concept that’s sparked some serious debate among professionals.
Some claim it’s essential; that it’s a natural and unavoidable evolution of business practice.
Detractors claim that it’s an unnecessary security risk that exposes a company to data leakage and a loss of visibility.
BYOD is here to stay
In truth, the BYOD debate could only end one way.
Back in 2014, Tech Pro Research conducted a survey on BYOD adoption with some surprising results: 74 percent of companies already supported BYOD in the workplace or were planning to adopt it within the following year. And when you add in that global smartphone adoption has risen by an impressive 13 percent since the survey was done, it’s clear that mobile devices have a role in the workplace.
Improve the office with BYOD
The benefits of BYOD are well-established at this point:
- Productivity – When employees can work on their own terms with devices they’re familiar with, individual productivity increases as a matter of course.
- Connectivity – Employees who leverage personal devices for work are more plugged into the workplace, no matter if they work remotely, travel, or conduct business outside the office.
- Reduced costs – Office costs can be reduced with BYOD, as the enterprise saves on the expenses of hardware, data, subscription fees for corporate software, and more.
- Easy maintenance – Or should that be no maintenance? With BYOD, the company isn’t responsible for troubleshooting problems on each employee’s device.
BYOD supports a flexible office culture where employees can work on the channels best suited to them. It won’t take much convincing to get the office staff on board with BYOD, but those in charge of the transition should take care to implement good BYOD practices early to prevent problems down the line.
Avoid the drawbacks of BYOD with education and policy
Of course, BYOD’s detractors have some valid concerns about the practice. BYOD can expose a company to new security threats that don’t exist in enterprise platforms, particularly when employees use third-party apps like Dropbox, Slack, or Evernote to share workplace information.
As such, corporate success with BYOD relies on the two pillars of education and policy:
- Begin with device education: Managers might think their employees would maintain proper security for their mobile devices, but this isn’t always the case. Before implementing BYOD, office executives should educate employees on the risks of using personal devices and how to safeguard their systems to protect the company.
- Consider mobile device management software: Mobile device management tools are platforms with features to help companies manage BYOD issues. These may include security and authorization features at the device level, or remote deactivation tools to prevent the loss of sensitive information if employees lose their mobile phones.
- Mandatory updates: Every device used for BYOD should be updated regularly to ensure that any known security vulnerabilities are patched and that all applications coordinate correctly.
Get on board with BYOD
There’s no escaping BYOD these days. Aside from those companies in specialized fields (such as legal, medical, or financial industries where compliance is an issue), just about any organization can benefit from adding BYOD into the fold.
Take your time with the transition, and if you need support, outsourced providers can give you a hand with training modules, best practices, and software upgrades to help you push your office productivity to the max.