BYOD is now an integral part of the business world and enterprise networks. With the smartphone now occupying an important place in our day-to-day lives, BYOD has become all the more inevitable for companies and organizations that want to make the most of all emerging technologies and stay afloat in today’s competitive world. In this context, let’s dwell a bit on the basics of BYOD- the definition, the benefits, the security issues et al.
BYOD – The Definition
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can very simply be defined as the policy of enterprises permitting employees to bring their personal devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones etc) and use it to work, to access organizational data and to access company applications etc.
Bring Your Own Device – Benefits
BYOD, if managed well, has many benefits that companies and organizations can make use of. The main advantages of having BYOD interwoven into the enterprise network are-
Enhances productivity-A major advantage of BYOD is that it always helps companies boost productivity. It gives employees more freedom and better adaptability options since they work on their own devices and hence are likely to feel more comfortable with work.
Contributes to ensuring better employee satisfaction- BYOD undoubtedly contributes to ensuring better employee satisfaction. Employees tend to feel more involved and the lack of formal rigidity also contributes to them being more satisfied. This directly leads to enhanced productivity.
Cuts down costs- BYOD helps cut down costs. IT firms, especially smaller ones that can’t think of big investments, can now cut down on the budget allocated for buying hardware. They could make the most of employees working using their own personal devices.
More up-to-date- BYOD devices are mostly upgraded more often compared to traditional business technology, especially because employees, as individuals, would always want to stay abreast of evolving technology. Thus by being more up-to-date, companies can make the most of this emerging technology.
More mobility to employees- Employees stay connected to the enterprise network even when they are on the move and hence they can work even when they are not in the office. At the same time, they can even find time for their personal lives even as they are connected to their company via BYOD devices.
Bring Your Own Device – The Security Risks
When many personal devices are connected to the enterprise network, security risks are bound to increase. There are chances of corporate data being compromised and on the other hand, there are also chances of employees’ personal data being affected or lost when companies wipe data on BYOD devices. BYOD devices getting stolen or lost could also cause risks to company data. The greatest security risk undoubtedly is the likelihood of data breaches that could lead to corporate date being compromised and customers’ personal data being stolen and misused.
Security risks being there doesn’t mean BYOD needs to be discouraged. Every new technology comes with risks and the focus always has to be on minimizing these risks and making the best of the technology. As for BYOD, there are things that can be done to mitigate the risks and make the most of it. Proper MDM (Mobile Device Management) strategies, training employees about security risks and proper use of BYOD devices, controlling app installations, controlling and monitoring access to corporate data and above all, having a well-defined BYOD policy are things that can be done to ensure better security.
Bring Your Own Device – Making the Choices
This is an area of prime importance as regards BYOD. Making the right choices is what ensures proper and best usage of BYOD as a technology. Companies need to make wise choices as regards the personal devices that are to be allowed. Companies would have to decide and choose whether to let employees use their own devices or go for Corporate Owned Personally Enabled (COPE) ones. Companies also need to make choices as regards the BYOD policy they have to adopt. Well, all these depends on the business in question and it’s making the right choices that would lead to businesses making the most of BYOD as a technology.