A new wave of IT consumerization has hit the IT industry. IT consumerization – a perfect blend of personal and business use of technology devices and applications. With this IT consumerisation, a new concept of BYOD pops up. A large number of well established companies are pushing hard to incorporate BYOD in their companies and is an emerging trend among employees owned devices within business.
What is BYOD?
BYOD, an important part of IT consumerization which allows the employees to use their own devices to access privileged company information and applications. BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC), BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone), all these initiatives plays prominent role in “IT Consumerisation”.
These employee owned devices are sometimes sanctioned by the company and supported along with the company owned devices.
BYOD is making significant inroads in the business world, with about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets already using their own technology at work.
As laptops, desktops and mobiles have become affordable, people have started using their personal laptops or desktops to work on after office hours. Most of the companies are embracing IT consumerisation by adopting BYOD at workplace due to perceived productivity gains and cost savings. Companies have also adopted BYOD policy to help IT better manage these devices so that network security is compromised.
As per the data showed in CIO’s infographic, 40% of the employees consider the ability to use personal devices at their workplace very important. Among all the respondents, 63% believe that BYOD programs have influenced the employee’s view in a positive manner.
BYOD trend is heating up these days.
1. Boost Productivity
BYOD is an excellent way to boost productivity. Being able to access the company network from anywhere eliminates the limitations to work only during working hours. BYOD gives employees flexible working hours along with the ability to foster creativity, innovation. Employees can access any mail or share any documents and work outside the confines of home.
2. Reduced company expenses
Second biggest advantage of BYOD is cost saving as previously companies purchased the hardware, software and service contracts to use mobile devices. But, now the cost burden has been passed to the employees who purchase the mobile device and service contracts that goes with it.
3. Enhanced efficiency
73% of the businesses increased efficiency after adopting BYOD program. BYOD enhances the employee morale as employee feel happier working on the devices they feel most comfortable with. It also give them the freedom to work as per their choice and not according to the IT preferences
4. Improved relation between IT & employees
A recent report from management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture revealed that giving employees the option to use the device of their choice “not only improves productivity but also enhances the relationship between IT and employees.”
Risks associated with BYOD
Along with the various benefits of installing BYOD policies, there are also risks which are associated with it.
1. Data security
Allowing the employees to access the company network from anywhere might leads to the situation wherein things might end up in wrong hands and company might face risks of losing important data and information.
Security might be the biggest risk as there are many people who don’t use password to protect their personal devices or their devices don’t have automatic lock screen and time-out function. There may be cases where your employee connects the devices via unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots. All these possibilities might raise unauthorized disclosure or business data destruction.
2. Data retrieval
Company data is something which is very critical and confidential and this is what every company wants to store it in its database. Data retrieval might be a problem in case of BYOD as it would be difficult to segregate the data and retrieving it from the employee’s device who is leaving the company.
To mitigate such risks, many companies are planning and developing strategies to implement a strong BYOD policy. In order to overcome the challenges associated with BYOD, the policy framed should fulfil following objectives:
- Determine which devices will be permitted and supported and the type of company data which can be accessed
- Identify the category of employees which will be allowed to access the company information via their personal devices and under what condition
- Using technology like MDM (Mobile Device Management) which creates a virtual partition in every device which segregates personal data and company data
- The policy should clearly mention the conditions under which the employer can access employee’s personal information
- The policy should mention the user end agreement without agreeing to which no employee would be permitted to access company information via personal device
- Develop your BYOD policy in partnership with IT, risk management, operations personnel, and inside or outside legal counsel.
- The policy should clearly state that how the employee’s data will be protected and under which conditions the employer is authorized to delete the personal data.
While BYOD policies raise some serious issues, they can work well when employers balance security,
compliance and privacy concerns. The key is being thoughtful and collaborative in approach. The BYOD concept can do wonders if employees adhere to the policy and employer is able to balance security, compliance and privacy issues.