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What is BYOD ?

As the modern workplace evolves it is becoming increasingly common for employees to want to want to use their own devices to not only assist them to do work but also to access and manipulate corporate data and the networks it resides on. This growing trend has been dubbed Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). As ever, the IT community are never happy with just one acronym, so several other similar terms such as Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) and Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC), Choose Your Own Device (CYOD).

The basic premise behind these initiatives is to encourage employees to work on the device they choose - accessing corporate email on their iPhone 5s or using a Google Nexus 7 to view text documents. The benefits to the both small and medium side business is, reduced costs on the purchasing and maintenance of hardware. However, if not managed correctly BYOD can have adverse effects on a company's Information Security, and could have potentially devastating effects.

What drives BYOD?

Over the past decade we have seen a seismic shift in working practices across the globe, In the past company's would try to manage their entire operations and try to operate from a centralized location. However, with practices such as outsourcing non-core services and remote working becoming more common, coupled with the fact that freelancing is becoming a more viable carreer prospect for many, places a lot of strain on a companies resources and infrastructure to supply the flexibilty and scalability to provide efficient collaboration platforms. These days it is highly likely that staff may never actually visit a central office, and may also be dispersed not only nationally but internationally too.

An organizations new breed of "employees" are driven by the own need for IT Self efficiency who already own and use personal laptops, tablets and smartphones, and have a preference for alternative operating systems such iOs, Ubuntu, Blackberry, Android and Windows.

The compulsion for staff to make use of new lightweight mobile devices, such as Ultra-books, Tablets and large screen smartphones, is often driven by the fact that these devices are often more advanced than the "standardized" IT department issued kit. Which in most cases is aimed at the baseline average user of an organization, and not actually what their job dictates. The choice of platform is often dictated to by what resources the organization has to support it or what is the easiest resource to obtain on the market at the right rate .i.e. Windows Administrators.

Many organizations base what the chief operating system to use, not on what would be best for each individual project or department, but mostly on what is the best average, and probably also what is the best deal they can get. The differing requirements of each individual staff member or project is not necessarily the most important factor.

At best most IT strategies are out of date, when they are developed, let alone what is going to be best for the organization 18 - 60 months in the future. Technology is a movable yardstick, let alone different types of technology will appeal to different types of users.

Another key factor, is each user may have differing perspectives on which technology assists them in being the most productive and efficient as possible. Along with which platform they feel most confident with.

Impact of BYOD

In many organizations BYOD, is having an impact regardless of whether they have actively planned for it or not. It has become increasingly common for IT departments to facilitate connections to their infrastructure for a myriad of new devices. It is becoming an increasingly futile exercise to attempt to halt the progress of BYOD within the workplace, it is a far better strategy to try and mitigate the risks and understand and realize the benefits.

In our upcoming series of posts we will be addressing the Advantages and Disadvantages of BYOD. Our aim is to provide you with as much information as possible in order for you to make an informed decision.

If you have any further questions regarding BYOD, you can either ask a question in the comment section below or contact us using our contact form or if you would prefer an immediate response why not call us on 0843 289 4539

Gary Woodfine
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