Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a growing IT policy where organizations allow employees and team members to utilize their own personal electronic devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) in order to complete work related tasks and access company data, systems and applications.
These initiatives are usually spearheaded by the IT department and the levels of implementation and data access allowed on personal devices vary from company to company and even between employees. An organization must decide if they wish to grant unlimited access for personal devices, restrict the access to sensitive data from personal devices and/or prevent local storage of data on non-company owned devices.
Regardless of the regulations that a company sets, there are benefits and risks associated with implementing a BYOD policy in your organization. Employees increase their productivity by utilizing a system or a device with which they are familiar. On average, personal devices are newer and are updated more frequently.
As users continue to invest and become more attached to personal devices, a BYOD policy assists in raising employee satisfaction. BYOD policies also eliminate the need for employees to carry multiple devices. Finally, a BYOD program may help reduce the costs associated with hardware however, those benefits may be offset by data plan subsidies
There are, however, implications that need to be taken into consideration when determining if a BYOD policy is a good fit for your organization. The main concern that it is often raised refers to security. The risk of having sensitive corporate data and information available on devices with limited protection can be a liability if it is not managed appropriately. In a follow up article we will discuss the different measures that can be taken in order to minimize the security concerns often associated with BYOD devices.
With the rise of BYOD adoption, in addition to the increasing number of remote workers and telecommuting, unified communications systems provide organizations with an option that improves the collaboration and communication among different networks, platforms and devices.