Making the most of a BYOD world

Only a short time ago, organizations struggled with whether or not to allow their employees to use personal devices at work. In today’s digital workplace, with its proliferation of personal tablets, phones, wearables, and other computing devices, the question is less about whether or not this is a good idea, and more about how to cope with a wide array of mobile devices.

Driving the acceptance of BYOD is a host of advantages for the organization. Not only does BYOD increase employee loyalty and morale – benefits most often touted by millennial-minded employers – but it also increases productivity and reduces the costs associated with equipping workers. Other major points in favour of BYOD include enhanced productivity, improved collaboration, decreased work delays, and providing employees with the freedom to work when and where it is most convenient.

One of the paradoxes of the human personality is that our greatest strengths are often our greatest weaknesses. The same holds true for BYOD. Wireless connections deliver a wealth of positive results, but they also subject the organization to new, and often transparent, vulnerabilities, increasing the difficulty of securing corporate data. Employee-owned devices also make it difficult to prevent data leakage, block unauthorized devices from the company network, and separate usage for work and usage for personal business.

In our increasingly connected cyber workforce, this combines with the evolution of devices and cloud to create hurdles for those who manage and secure the mobile environment. With MarketsandMarkets pegging the adoption rate of BYOD at 50 percent for 2018, and Gartner’s hypothesis that 90% of organizations worldwide now have some aspect of BYOD mobile devices, it’s imperative that organizations of all sizes have a comprehensive mobile device management strategy.

A BYOD solution that protects user privacy and critical business information is especially important for organizations in which BYOD has crept in over time with no accompanying corporate governance. According to a 2016 Avaya report, almost half of all North American workplaces had adopted BYOD, but only a few had a corresponding BYOD policy.

As new devices continue to penetrate the workplace, cloud adoption, IoT, and artificial intelligence put new demands on those who manage IT infrastructure and operations. Leaders responsible for mobile are looking for a secure BYOD program that facilitates the registration and provisioning of devices, reduces costs, and maximizes the productivity and satisfaction of users. There are countless efficiencies and savings in tailoring usage policies to address the needs of the organization.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Steve Proctor
Steve Proctor
Steve is Vice-President Marketing and Communication with ITWC. He spent 25 years in progressively senior positions as a journalist and editor with the Halifax Herald, with his final ten years as Business Editor. He has published two books and his freelance articles have appeared in national and regional magazines. He has led social media and communication efforts for two crowdfunding ventures and written and directed numerous dinner theatres for charitable endeavours.

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