'Bring Your Own Device' to the Workplace

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Between IT customers, BYOD is a phrase that has become widely adopted to refer to employees who bring their own computing devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets, to the workplace for use and connectivity on the secure corporate network.

These mobile devices are often newer and more advanced than the equipment deployed by many IT departments. IT Departments are playing catch up and could easily refuse to embrace the BYOD IDEA. Which are the benefits and advantages? There are some key advantages to operating a BYOD strategy, including increased employee satisfaction (more flexibility), cost savings, plus productivity, because the employees are happier, more comfortable and often work faster with their own technologies. BYOD isn't all wine and roses, businesses need to consider the full implications of allowing corporate data to be accessed on personal devices that they could have little or no control over. Even though IT hardware spend can potentially be reduced with a BYOD approach, it may cost more for a company to integrate and support a diverse range of employee devices. By far the biggest risk is not having any sort of BYOD policy in place.

In according with this, the advent of BYOD is forcing IT departments and IT managers to develop and implement policies that govern the management of unsupported devices, these polices might involve encrypting sensitive data, preventing local storage of corporate documents and/or limiting access to non-sensitive areas.

Many organizations have decided the benefits are worth the risks. Here are some of the significant findings:

  • 53% of organizations officially accept and allow BYOD in some way, but less than half of them provide any financial subsidy for users who supply their own equipment.
  • 22% of organizations allow personal devices to be used, but require that they be managed by the company IT personnel.
  • Cost savings resulting from employees using their own PCs and mobile devices may be offset by increased IT support and security costs.
  • A majority of companies are somewhat or very concerned about the risk of data breaches or intellectual property leaks.