BYOD for Your Workforce What You Need to Know finalThe landscape of the workplace is changing at a rapid pace, mostly due to advances in technology. One thing impacting business in a big way is BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). BYOD is embodied by employees bringing and using their own smartphones and tablets into the workplace, and employers embracing that trend.

There are, however, inherent risks with associated with BYOD associated that merit further discussion. Here are some of the things we think you need to know:

Why BYOD?

BYOD is not only a boon for productivity and makes employees happy, it can represent big savings for organizations. Budgets for employee corporate devices are significantly reduced when the employee’s mobile expenses (estimated at an average of nearly $1,000 per year and annual data plan costs can reach as much or higher) become out-of-pocket expenses back to the workers. The days of corporate mandates of “Blackberry only” attitude are over. Workers are able to use their device of choice and feel more comfortable doing so.

Security Solutions: Advance Planning and Policies 

BYOD allows employees much flexibility and, in many instances, the ability to work from anywhere, but there are security concerns. What if a device is lost? With the right IT solutions in place, employees will know exactly what to do if a device is lost or stolen, because companies using cloud services will have addressed that ahead of time. Businesses need BYOD policies in place. Policies should be clear and explain in detail: what information is a private, and even more device encryption instruction and what to do if a device is lost or stolen.

Even More Security Solutions

Fingerprint sensors are becoming more common in the workplace, and we predict we’ll see retina scanners at some point in the not too distant future as well. Some employers are requiring workers add fingerprint sensors them to mobile devices used on company projects. Cloud providers are also offering more MDM (mobile device management) software. This tool is an important part of a BYOD security policy. MDM secures data in the event of a missing device, but it requires employee compliance in order to work effectively. Wiping data, factory resets, or rendering the device useless are part of good MDM software’s capabilities.

BYOD is definitely the way of the future (if it’s not already happening within your organization), and it can definitely be both a money-saver and a productivity tool for small or mid-sized businesses, and save even more money for larger corporations. Make sure your company establishes a security policy early in the implementation process so there are no surprises later on. The benefit of happier employees collaborating and working offsite, coupled with the peace of mind that information is being stored on the cloud instead of mobile devices, offers an added incentive for businesses to look further at cloud services.

photo credit: Mobile Worker via photopin (license)