Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

What is BYOD?

Bringing your own device has many pros and cons alike. With some of the most common technology now costing over $1000 it is to no surprise that Information Technology departments across the globe are struggling to facilitate the ever-changing demand.

The concept of BYOD is introduced so that employees can bring in their own pieces of technology to use at their work place for their working purpose. Close the gap where employees use the phrase “I don’t know how to use this operating system” or “I’m a PC person, I don’t know how to use a MAC!” by allowing them to bring in their weapon of choice, as it were.

The Pros

  • Familiarity
  • Efficiency
  • Low costs
  • No need for device training
  • Enables ease of access at home

The fact is that more than HALF of today’s top organisations practise BYOD amongst their employees and allow people to bring their personal devices to work – which statistically is a great move to make, as the chances are employees are ALREADY using their personal devices to access work emails.

A study carried out by Forbes suggested that almost half of all employees say that they are more productive when it comes to using their own device. After all, if you are used to using an Apple device and your workplace provides you with an Android device it’s easy to see how the differences can cause a conflict in ease of daily use, with over 80% of employees saying that smartphones play a ‘central role’ in productivity.

Another key factor to consider is the work-life balance. Most people who use their personal devices will have the flexibility to change tasks in a simple touch of a button, meaning they’re never really “offline”.

The Cons

  • Different user requirements
  • Open to viruses and malware
  • Harder to control & regulate

Although many companies have started to adapt the BYOD culture, there are a lot of things to take into consideration in terms of cyber security. Remember the days where you couldn’t even use your own flash drive without it being cleared by the IT department first? So where have these precautions gone?

Well, the fact is that whether your company allows people to use their own devices whilst at work (or for work purposes) people will do it anyway, meaning there is no sense of control in the first place, so by allowing this practise, there can at least be a more of an open dynamic and sense of honesty in the workplace.

Security isn’t just a cause for concern in offices, but more-so outside in the general public. If employees are using their own devices which may contain sensitive information it is more likely to face issues such as leaked content or hacking of personal information, much worse when the information isn’t actually yours. Something as simple as using a public WIFI hotspot can have company data open to the hands of hackers. The potential for a huge PR nightmare (and not to forget the more-so recent GDPR regulations breached) increases tenfold with the when employees are using their own devices for both personal and work-related content.

So, are some of the biggest technology companies making a firm step into the future by allowing us to use our own technologies? Or is this a step into the wrong direction and into dangerous technology territories?