What The Future Has In Store For BYOD?
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Bring your own device (BYOD) is the trend of employees using their own devices for working in their offices.
It has been on the ascendance since the proliferation of devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. Like it or leave it, it is here to stay.
International Data Corporation (IDC), a market research firm, says that the adoption of BYOD at workplaces in 2013 was 132 million devices, a surge from 88 million in 2012. The number is expected to be 328 million devices by 2017. Those are decidedly huge numbers!
It is said to be a move towards IT consumerization, where computing devices are used for both personal and business reasons. BYOD is being used now in many organizations, where their IT department supports devices of all employees.
The major benefit of BYOD for the companies is that it cuts down their infrastructural costs drastically, as they need not buy many machines, which they need to support and upgrade. It also allows employees to work from home, cutting down travel expenditure borne by the company. On the other hand, it would give employees more leeway at their workplaces. It also helps employees choose applications that they are more comfortable working with.
Like all developments in technology, BYOD has its fair share of pitfalls. Here are some of them.
IT department has to ensure that the differently configured devices of the employees are secured. And when the employees have to follow the guidelines set by their companies by making their devices accessible to IT department, their private, confidential data can be compromised. As far the employer is concerned, the threat of misuse of his company's proprietary data looms over his/her head. Also, the employees' devices will be accessible even when they are at home or elsewhere. This opens up the possibility of some managers or clients asking them to work outside office hours!
Although not all, but some of the main issues can be addressed if some preemptive steps are taken. Listed here are some of the following.
Every company should have a trial run of BYOD to understand how all the employees belonging to various departments, such as operations, human resources, finance and legal, are coping with it. This also helps them understand what problems they would most likely face in the future.
All employees should be given training on what type of applications they would be allowed to be used. It is important to convey a list of dos and don'ts to all the employees, and IT department should ensure that they are being followed sincerely.
IT department should keep tabs on threats to all devices, which crop up at an alarming frequency. Ideally, companies should have more than one defense layer.
As the companies cut down on various infrastructure expenses, they should up their expenditure on IT security, which needs continual upgrading. Especially when there are different types of devices running here, the budgets of the companies adopting BYOD ought to be flexible.
Companies must also increase spend on additional enterprise software and advanced infrastructure in order for BYOD to work seamlessly.
Some companies run processes for which compliance requirements are precise. This would require BYOD devices to be able to remotely delete date when they are disconnected from the network.
Finally, BYOD process should simplify access to company's resources. Otherwise, it does not make business sense.
The other things the companies should take into account is the ability of mobile device management (MDM) vendors they avail services from. Due diligence should be carried out on the mobile platform architecture that they wish to deploy.
With flexibility at workplace becoming a norm in the future, BYOD adoption is, not surprisingly, exhibiting exponential growth rate in many countries
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