BYOD: Is the Skepticism Justified?

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There’s no doubt about it: in an age of constant connectivity and cloud computing, traditional workplace environments have seen a massive shift in long-held values.

In a society that is constantly switched on and always connected, a new paradigm has emerged calling for employees to react responsively to colleagues and clients on a global scale. And the advent of bringing your own device (BYOD) means employees balancing global knowledge exchanges can more effectively balance their home, work and family lives too.

Gone are the days when large, faceless IT departments built complicated corporate systems and technologically hapless employees were left to muddle through; now, smaller business are flourishing, knowledge and power have become interactive, and the big faceless boss is not quite so big, nor faceless.

The result is that corporate businesses are under increased pressure to provide high quality computing systems that employees find as easy to navigate as Facebook or Twitter.

Employees are no longer intimidated by large computing systems. In fact, they are keen to personalize and adapt devices around their 24/7 lives, balancing personal and home commitments.

At first glance, the rewards of personal employee devices are many; IT bills can be reduced, and less investment is needed in maintaining and updating internal hardware. But not everyone is comfortable with BYOD; boardrooms around the world have been wrestling with security concerns, and worrying about staff getting distracted from their duties.

Are Security Concerns Legitimate?

Many employers are worried about moving sensitive data onto personal devices such as tablets, laptops and smartphones. But are they right to be nervous?

German-based company Security Research Labs recently discovered a technological flaw in 500 million SIM cards used that would allow potential hackers to steal the owner’s identity, and remotely access and utilize all files and information. Such a tactic can be used by thieves and hackers, and for industrial espionage. The UN has described this as ‘hugely significant.’

Such findings on security lapses are all too frequent, and have been brought up in the argument against BYOD frequently.

Simply put, strong security measures are vital for both smaller businesses seeking to grow and large enterprises that hold masses of data.

So Why Should Employers Embrace BYOD?

As long security is taken seriously, BYOD can benefit your company in a number of ways:

Save Money

The over-riding advantage is one of cost; overhead outlay for complex IT systems, programme memberships and regular troubleshooting can be a significant drain on resources, particularly for small and start-up enterprises.

Attract the Best People

Introducing personal devices into the workplace can also attract the best in the industry, who seek dynamic employers with flexible working attitudes.

Be More Responsive

With more and more businesses relying heavily on their social media identities to distribute and relay information, out-of-hours updates and customer responses are made much easier when working from home on a personal device.

Make Employees Less Stressed, But More Accountable

BYOD promotes increased productivity and motivation. Employees feel comfortable working on their own devices without having to muddle through a foreign infrastructure, and are ultimately responsible for their devices’ upkeep, security and condition.

 

Daniel Johnson is an avid rock climber in the UK climbing more than 30 of the countries largest mountains and some international competition awards – Daniel Johnson is also a specialist in cloud computing at Vesk.

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