No one today seems to be at a loss for technology, with smartphones, laptops and tablets within reach at all times. As an inevitable result, the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon has been growing throughout the business world. The prospect of employees using their own devices for communicating, uploading and accessing information is only drawing more attention to the flexibility it can allow an organization. However, permitting members of your staff to use their own devices rather than standard, company-issued equipment raises a host of concerns regarding security, accessibility and reliability.
Determining whether adopting a BYOD option for your employees is a wise choice for your business hinges on a variety of factors and here we’ll examine the main factors to consider.
The Positives of BYOD
This new approach has caught on for many different reasons, with one primary factor being the cost. Allowing people to use technology they already own saves your company the cost of purchasing equipment for everyone. The average business will spend a significant fraction its budget outfitting everyone with necessary devices, so the potential for savings here is great. People may also feel more comfortable using their own laptops or tablets, and this can have a positive effect on employee morale, making them feel as if they’re able to customize their own jobs. When employees are traveling to meet with clients or are working out of the office, BYOD allows constant productivity regardless of the location.
Planning out the BYOD Logistics
If all these benefits sound helpful, they also bring a series of IT concerns. Companies will have to establish policies and guidelines for what the boundaries are between the professional and the personal. Concerns about data ownership may also come up as to who is the real owner of certain reports or content.
Furthermore, security is a concern for any organization whether it consists of a completely traditional infrastructure or a cutting-edge strategy that includes BYOD portability. Your company’s firewalls and other security tactics in place may not adequately cover an employee’s personal device — they certainly won’t when the employee is out of the office. Additionally, with the variety of different devices, consistency across platforms may be an issue.
Solutions to the Concerns using VDI
Such issues may remove BYOD from being a viable choice for your company’s tech decisions, yet with this in mind, it may seem strange that so many companies have instituted a BYOD policy.
A virtual desktop infrastructure, or VDI, is the solution that prevents security problems from arising. A VDI implementation keeps all sensitive data on an in-house data center and the user accesses that data through a virtual desktop on his or her device. This allows control over data access, and, with encryption techniques in place, a strong security policy is in effect. The device itself is a gateway, not a storage place for crucial information.
The growth of BYOD
BYOD methods are gradually becoming an accepted way of business for many companies, and many are embracing this new trend, with a predicted 62 percent of companies to use this strategy by the end of 2013 and 90 percent predicted in 2014. Anything that offers some new advantages will inevitably come with some challenges as well, yet organizations can meet these same challenges with the right proper planning and organization. Getting fully acquainted with VDI can provide a means of solving any concerns that BYOD will raise.
Just as technology becomes more sophisticated with ongoing improvements and updates constantly rolling out, the way people use technology is also more sophisticated. Users expect to be able to customize and personalize how they receive and interact with information. BYOD is one example of this; if it matches up with your company’s IT culture, it could increase your employees’ productivity. If the BYOD approach has the potential to fit in well with your company’s IT infrastructure, formulating a plan on how to get started will be the first step.
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