Businesses are looking to gain instant access to information and are constantly in need of data with the concept of anytime, anywhere opportunity. This rapid consumerisation of IT means that personal mobile devices are not just personal anymore. And this has given birth to the idea of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which has become a commonplace trend globally.
So what are the factors that have led to the adoption of BYOD at workplace?
- Increases employee productivity – The leading factor for businesses to adopt BYOD is increased employee productivity. With easy access to information on their personal devices, from virtually anywhere increases the employee’s potential to perform better.
- Improves employee flexibility – Providing employees the flexibility to work on their personal devices further improves productivity, as they can work from the comfort of their homes, or on the go.
Cutting costs and improving competitive differentiation – With the implementation of BYOD, there has been a significant reduction in expenses. This reduction in expenses has further lead to a competitive differentiation.
However, BYOD is not without its share of challenges. The very definition of mobility – the ability to take a device anywhere means that the scope of errors is high. And with devices becoming increasingly compact, the ease with which it can be misplaced or stolen is also increasing. Although the negative impact of losing a personal device is high, the impact of losing a device used for business is much worse.Security is another cause for concern across organisations. Most organisations are therefore looking to implement supplementary security measures to manage data flow between the enterprise and mobile applications, as well as incorporating additional integrity checks to ensure a uniform and accurate view of data.
This then brings us to the question that – how can IT departments acquire the benefits of a BYOD workforce while mitigating risk? The answer can be found in implementing these three rules:
- Creation of BYOD policy– One must provide the employees with guidance on what is and what is not appropriate when it comes to usage of mobile devices at your organisation. One must also clearly define the rights and responsibilities of both the user and employer.
- Plan and maintain a secure network – Organisations must create a secure network, which means examining how each threat, including threats from the mobile workforce, can exploit a potential weakness and lead to the exposure of a protected asset. While doing this, a multiple layer of defence architecture must be used, which can protect against potential threats and exposure based on where risk exists.
- Implementation of Mobile Device Management – With a mobile device management platform in place, IT departments can decide on what applications to approve or reject or even which devices should not be used as they could pose a threat to the organisation. In addition, this could further provide the ability to manage configurations, change security settings, and monitor devices.
To conclude, organisations today are increasingly adopting the BYOD model, and it has become a mainstream phenomenon. Our take is that though BYOD offers a number of benefits and advantages, it is important for employers and employees to recognize the limitations of BYOD, and its inherent risks. Also, for businesses to make their BYOD journey an exciting experience and boost productivity at workplace, they need to have the right roadmap!