BYOD: Bring Your Own Device:

A phrase that has become widely adopted to refer to mobile workers bringing their own mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs, into the workplace for use and connectivity. Today, many consumers expect to be able to use personal smartphones and mobile devices at work, which is an IT concern. Many corporations that allow employees to use their own mobile devices at work implement a “BYOD policy” to help IT better manage these devices and ensure network security.

I think BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a great idea. It’s an excellent way to save money and to give employees what they want: device freedom.

The reality is that companies must find ways to decrease overhead without sacrificing product quality. They must increase profitability to attract investment money to continue to grow, to innovate and to explore. One significant way to do that is to allow employees to bring their own devices (laptops, smart phones, tablets) to work and use them.

There are both advantages and drawbacks to this kind of policy. In order for it to be feasible, employees must agree that lost or stolen devices can be remotely wiped (with software such as Computrace and Computrace Mobile).

Advantages of a BYOD policy:

  • Reduces IT hardware costs
  • Enables staff to work from anywhere
  • Increases feasibility of remote staff
  • Employees can meet their own demands for the most up-to-date device
  • Employees are more productive using devices with which they’re comfortable.

Drawbacks of a BYOD policy:

  • It’s difficult to make sure all employee devices have been registered and updated with remote-wiping software
  • Increased risk for introducing malware to the corporate network
  • Network access must be revoked when no longer applicable.

               Rather than dismiss a BYOD policy because of the drawbacks, IT can develop a policy to help mitigate the risks.

The VMware Company is in the process of launching Horizon Mobile, software that allows you to run both business and personal phones from one handset.

This means that should the phone be lost, or the employee leaves, any company data on the phone can be remotely wiped. The work phone can also be switched off leaving the personal phone still connected.

   The trend is powered not only by the growth in mobile devices, but by cloud computing, with companies able to buy ready-to-go virtual desktops.

IT managers on BYOD:

  • 52% accept some form of network access
  • 64% believe it is too risky to allow personal devices to be integrated
  • 49% believe the future of their organisation requires integration
  • 50% believe it can increase productivity
  • 82% have a policy in place regarding the use of personal devices at work.

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