It’s a BYOD Party and Everyone is Invited!

There is a new technology trend expanding rapidly across the business landscape.  We are talking about BYOD.  A distant relative to BYOB, BYOD puts a business technology spin on our favorite budget friendly party planning acronym.  BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device,” a new wave of integrating personal device technology into the workplace.  

Easy access to high-end consumer tech has led to the evolution of the more technologically equipped employee.  There was a time when computers were the size of your average work desk, now employees can carry 100 times the computing power in their pocket.  The prevalence of mobile devices has done everything except slow down the pace of the BYOD movement.  In the very near future it is expected that there will be more mobile devices on the planet than there are people – and everyone will be bringing their new toys to work.

Research on BYOD stated that in 2012 81% of employees used one single mobile device for business in and outside of the workplace.  In recent news TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) an outsourcing company for Nokia has come under heavy fire from The Finnish Union of Professional Engineers for asking employees to turn in company supplied devices in exchange for SIM cards to be used on their own devices.  All of this evidence points to the continued emergence and impact of the personal mobile devices positioned as an effective tool for professionals.

It is unavoidable, business owners and IT managers need to accept the fact people are going to BYOD.  An aggressive approach coupled with high restrictions may not be the best solution.  You don’t want to start breeding mutineers with oppressive BYOD policies.  Best practices would suggest formulating a system, program or plan to adapt to this evolution.  This plan needs to address the threats as they relate to the average person connecting a personal device to a business network. How you will address those threats and maintain server/data integrity?

There are a number of options and directions businesses can choose from, such as complete whitelisting/blacklisting, code enforcement, encryption, app restriction, geo-sensing or containerization.  It is best to adopt a policy and deploy technology that gives employees the ability to take advantage of personal devices.  This can help boost productivity, yet still keep important data structures secure.  Outsourcing consulting services and IT management solutions is one way businesses can decide on which routes are best in the face of a growing BYOD professional environment. By developing and understanding a business’s specific needs, an IT Management Service Provider can help implement a plan that provides controls on devices, creates efficiency and lowers overhead costs without creating excessive workloads for in-house staff.

The emphasis again is placed on the inevitable.  We cannot deny the impacts highly functional and readily available devices are going to have on a technologically progressive work force.  BYOD is almost at the point of becoming a standard.  Turning people away is becoming less an option – it is time to adapt and join the party.  Just make sure before you do you lay down some house rules.