Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Advances in technology and consumerism of IT have seen the BYOD trend rapidly expand.
Bring your own device (BYOD) is a trend which is quickly expanding in which companies allow workers to bring their own devices to work and connect to the company’s resources.
Advances in technology and consumerism of IT means that consumers are often more immediate recipients of the most innovative and advanced technologies, and nowadays users have more advanced technology than what their employers can provide them with. This has caused a huge growth in BYOD all around the globe, in enterprises of all sizes.
There are many advantages of encouraging BYOD in your workplace:
Increased productivity - workers usually feel more comfortable using their own devices and applications, and with advancements in technology such as smart phones, iPads and tablets there are fewer tasks which require a laptop, this facilitates better efficiency and accelerates productivity.
Increased flexibility – merging work and personal devices enables employees the freedom to work whenever and wherever they like, for example during lengthy commutes to and from work or appointments.
Maximised resources and saving costs – companies won’t have to supply staff with equipment, which means they cut purchasing and maintenance costs, so the financial resources can be reallocated to other areas to help grow and improve the workplace.
Improved employee satisfaction – enabling employees to use devices which they have chosen and which best suit them ensures they feel comfortable and content with the technology. As well as having more control over when and where they work.
It’s important to mention the cons of BYOD, and while many note its efficiency and see it as employee friendly, there are some risks:
Security and privacy – allowing employees to connect to a server and access company information outside of work could pose a risk, connecting devices to unsecured WiFi hotspots expose the device and the user ID. Business mobile users also have the highest chance of malware infection, if the device is not secure or if it is lost or stolen, the data stored on the device then becomes a risk. When an employee leaves the company, they will take their devices with them and so a process needs to be in place to protect client’s confidential information. There needs to be a balance between data protection and employee privacy.
Distractions – using one device for work and personal use could mean that employees become distracted during working hours, for example checking personal emails, replying to text messages and taking phone calls. This could affect the employee’s productivity, so acceptable uses of the device will have to be discussed.
Cost – despite saving money on the purchasing and maintenance of devices, organisations will need protect their data by developing policies and this will likely take time and incur a cost. A mobile device management tool will need to be used to guarantee security, install remote applications and synchronise or track devices if required.
A BYOD programme won’t suit everyone, but some companies will find it extremely efficient and beneficial. Crafting an effective BYOD is not easy, businesses will need to create lists of approved devices that can access corporate networks and develop a policy which clearly states the consequences for using out of bounds software.
Pinacl’s Managed LAN services can provide your business with a secure and performant infrastructure which enables organisations to meet the changing business models.
The traditional approach of a firewall located on your networks perimeter and anti-virus located on the end points is no longer sufficient. Next Generation security systems use network intelligence to understand the data that is flowing across your network. This along with a secure VPN will allow mobile users to safely connect to your business network when working away from the office.
This will provide your organisation with better visibility of user devices and enable you to successfully implement a BYOD strategy for your organisation.
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