Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are quickly becoming a necessity for businesses as their employees need to use newer technology at work. With BYOD, more and more employees will work from home or on the go with their computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other devices. This is great for businesses because it helps them cut down costs but also provides new opportunities. What they mean for companies is that employees can use their devices to access work data and resources.
A BYOD policy is an IT strategy that allows employees to use their smartphones or tablets for work. Employees can be more productive when they can use the devices they are most comfortable with, which will also help reduce costs in the long run. In addition, the companies believe that BYOD will make also make their employees happier with their jobs.
Trends in BYOD
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is swiftly becoming the norm in many industries. Employees with 20 or more years of experience were twice as likely as younger employees to use their smartphones for work-related tasks, like checking emails, making phone calls, and accessing company files on mobile apps. Initially, this idea was rejected due to security concerns, but in recent years a lot of solutions are being implemented to reduce the risk of security and making it more flexible.
Benefits of BYOD
- The benefits of BYOD include lower costs, fewer updates for company-owned equipment, increased flexibility from employees who can easily access their work on a mobile device, and increased employee satisfaction from using their preferred technology.
- It is faster and easier to check emails, make presentations, take notes, etc. Personalization encourages creativity that leads to innovation. This is possible when an employee has access to the tools needed.
- The apps on BYOD devices sync up with other platforms such as laptops, desktops, and tablets so there is no need to switch back and forth between them.
- IT saves a lot of money by not spending on hardware, software licensing, or device maintenance. In addition, any updates in the technology can be easily integrated into the system.
- It becomes easier for companies to attract new hires than companies that don't have such policies.
Guidelines to implement effective BYOD
- Create a policy before bringing technology by answering all the questions and analyzing the risk involved. For example, what if there are any compliance issues? These questions depend on various organizations. Have an emergency plan in place if the worst happens, and data is compromised.
- Determine whether you want your employees to use their devices on company time. If not, then you must develop a plan with them before they start using their phones at work.
- Now that employees can pull out sensitive information, the policy needs to address potential dangers. Strong passwords should be set so that the data is safe even if the device is in the wrong hands.
- Create an Acceptable use policy in coordination with BYOD policy. This will help the employees to focus on work while keeping the network away from viruses and malware. At the same time, creating the policy outlines which applications employees are allowed to access and the restricted ones. Make sure not to be very strict in restricting specific applications that may seem like over-controlling your employees.
- Train your employees by regularly conducting sessions and test their knowledge about the policy. Make them aware of disciplinary actions you will take if someone violates the policy. Be polite and explain to them the purpose of implementing these policies, which will be beneficial for the employees and the company.
- Install mobile device management software (MDM) that allows you to monitor and control the use of personal devices. It is an essential part of your security strategy, and it protects both company data and employee privacy.
- Decide the payment structure for the bills, whether the company has to pay the entire bill or give a monthly stipend. Discussing this with employees will avoid misunderstandings in the future.
- Try to simplify the enrollment process and make sure the device stays configured and protected. After they signup, they should be able to track their progress and requests.
Reducing the risk of BYOD
- BYOD is an effective way to cut costs. But some significant risks come along with it as well. For example, if you are not careful, your business could be breached or even shut down by complying with the unfair laws. To avoid these mistakes and make BYOD safer for your company, follow these steps:
- Educate employees about what data cannot be shared on their devices. The more our workforce relies on mobile app access, the more the security of corporate data arises.
- Create and distribute a device policy outlining what devices are allowed on company networks and how they should be used in the workplace.
- Train your staff about cybersecurity best practices with regular workshops or seminars on topics such as social engineering, phishing attacks, malware protection, and other threats (e.g., when mobile apps collect too much personal information).
- Ensure end-user agreements are in place by providing notice of acceptable use policies before employees sign them.
Demand for BYOD
The BYOD market is set to reach more than $300 billion by 2022; it continued to be adopted by employers due to its benefits and flexibility. BYOD was once rarely used among companies. Now, it has quickly turned into a new normal across various industries. Technology had a significant role in the growth and evolution of BYOD policies. The origin of BYOD is from the time people used to use their personal computers for office work. However, the trend accelerated in recent years as smartphones have become more popular and media tablets have been adopted in the C-suite and beyond. In addition, the growth of Wi-Fi network coverage has transformed connectivity in homes and urban areas. As a result, the demand for bringing mobile devices to organizations is far more than laptops.