BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) – What You Should Know

In an article written by Garter in 2013, it is expected that BYOD (bring your own device) will be so commonplace in the workplace that over half of companies will stop providing work devices (such as a desktop computer) to their employees. With new technologies changing the way we work, there’s very good reason for this BYOD movement, but there are also risk factors to also take into consideration.


BYOD with your work productivity & happiness

It’s true – one’s productivity potentially skyrockets with the ability to use their own device. No longer would you have to be in the corporate environment to work – you can simply work from home. You can send those pertinent work emails up until you fall asleep right from your phone. You can work around the clock and handle work responsibilities without needing to step foot into the office. Without needing to train on a new device, we see an increase in productivity as employees take advantage of features they’re comfortable with. They’re overall happier to be using their own personal device than what could be an outdated device. BYOD allows room for collaboration, increased communication, and higher work satisfaction.

However, this given flexibility does have its drawback by cutting one’s freedom. The idea of ‘being at work’ 24/7 could lead to increased stress levels as one has to question when it’s time to turn off ‘work mode.’ Certainly, the convenience of instantly accessing corporate data or email has extended the workday and new questions arise with how to monitor these extra hours and if it should be compensated for.


BYOD technology costs

The BYOD movement has allowed businesses to save financially by allocating resources that would have gone into a new technology to something else. An employee could be on the latest technology at a more cost efficient and faster rate whereas a business will not be able to keep up with the investment of the latest technology for their employees.  Employees can be satisfied working comfortably with their own choice of platform and can carry that work anywhere they go.

Even if a business subsidizes an employee’s data usage, they spend far less money as it is still far cheaper subsidizing than investing in new technology.


Security concerns in regards of BYOD

However, BYOD pose much higher security issues in lieu of implementing the bring your own device movement.

Imagine this – you’ve been dedicating extra hours in the library to finish up a huge work project. Despite your productive work ethics, your laptop gets stolen when you leave it alone briefly for a bathroom break. Not only is your project compromised, but every single piece of data (whether personal or work-related) on your laptop could be exposed to unauthorized use as well. This could result in the damage of your personal, financial and work-related data.

In addition, BYOD risks aren’t just limited to your laptop. With one in seven phones lost or stolen, your mobile device faces a much larger risk of security breach. With corporate data streaming seamlessly through the Cloud to be functional on all devices, it wouldn’t be hard to duplicate or move your data from your mobile phone to be put into an authorized hard drive.

…Or what if your device becomes compromised from a virus? What if corporate data is accessed through a third party application from one’s personal computer?


BYOD & your IT team

Despite growing concerns of BYOD, your IT team should be able to handle the BYOD concerns by addressing these issues with the latest tools and protocols. They will need to assess your BYOD technologies to be able to provide guidelines to minimize risk for those who use their personal device for work. In a given situation where your data is compromised, be sure to have an IT team that knows how to take care of the situation appropriately.

With so many employees on different mobile devices, platforms, operating systems and other devices, it may be more difficult to have a support system for if any such situation does arise. Be sure to have an IT team that can easily comprehend the issue to make necessary assessments to fix it.

In thought of implementing a BYOD protocol into your business, consider policies that could allow room for flexibility in work mobility yet apply much needed security measurements. There is no magic quick fix to a BYOD compromise, but with the right tools and preventive training from your IT team, BYOD could be a useful tool to your work environment.

If you have any questions or concerns about BYOD and how it affects your IT infrastructure, feel free to drop a hello with Squeeze Technology – Innovative IT solutions for you and your business. We can provide you with recommendations, protocols, and further information.