The Top 3 Issues in the Bring Your Own Device Debate
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies, which allow employees to use their personal devices at work, are rapidly gaining acceptance and workplaces are seeking to balance mobile security concerns with employee productivity.
BYOD has been touted as the most radical change to the client computing industry in decades and while it does offer a wealth of potential advantages, BYOD still has its opponents. Here are the top three issues that companies need to know about this policy debate.
1. The Prevalence of Personal Devices
Personal devices such as tablets and smartphones are everywhere nowadays. Large numbers of employees are using them at work whether their companies like it or not. As a result, the business world is being forced to adapt.
BYOD is rapidly gaining acceptance in the corporate world. A recent LinkedIn poll of over 1,100 IT professionals found that 24% had an official BYOD policy. In general, BYOD policies are continuing to increase along with the proliferation of personal devices in the workplace.
2. The Uses and Benefits of BYOD
Companies typically cite employee satisfaction as a major reason for their adoption of a BYOD policy. Adopting BYOD allows employees to use their own preferred devices and eliminates the need for them to manage multiple devices. Enhanced satisfaction often leads to employees’ increased mobility and productivity, with improved employee satisfaction seen as both a motivator for change and a way of measuring a policy’s success after its implementation.
The versatility of BYOD lets employees work in a more efficient way. The most common apps among BYOD users are email, calendar, and contact list management. Many professionals also use their mobile devices for accessing and editing documents. Employees can practically work on almost everything from anywhere.
Another BYOD benefit is reduced hardware expenditure and operational costs. When employees bring their own devices, companies often see cost savings in hardware expenditures and operational costs. A Cisco report published in 2013 calculated that a basic BYOD policy gained companies an annual average of $350 per mobile user. More comprehensive BYOD programs caused this figure to jump to $1,300 per mobile user.
3. Risks and Security Concerns
Two-thirds of the organizations surveyed by LinkedIn said that their main BYOD concern was data security. The theft or loss of the physical device itself is a major risk, but not the only one. IT professionals worry that employees will accidentally download apps or content with dangerous security exploits. Malware infections pose another problem, but one not unique to BYOD.
To handle BYOD security challenges, many companies are using measures like password protection, mandatory use of encryption, and remote deletion of data. Many organizations also ramp up their IT resources to cope with additional security risks presented by BYOD.
Surprisingly, a large number of organizations have said they have no specific mobile device management program in place. As mobile devices become more pervasive, businesses must consider how they will handle them in the workplace. Addressing issues like mobile security, with the help of experts, is one way for firms to stay competitive in the digital era.
PC Corp can help with the creation of BYOD policies and implementation of mobile device securities that are right for your business. Contact us for more information.
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