BYOD in Enterprise
BYOD is another technology-related acronym. It stands for “Bring Your Own Device” and, while BYOD might sound like something that applies to consumers, it is increasingly becoming a factor in how businesses have to provide IT resources. The concept is simple; the implications are complex.
So What is BYOD?
Chances are that you have a cellular phone that has Internet access on it in your possession right now. There is also a very good chance that you use this device to check your email, browse the web and instant message. What’s becoming increasingly the norm is for people to use their own devices to access their work email and other communications. This is the heart of the BYOD concept. People buy and use their own devices in the workplace and outside the workplace and utilize those devices to access company information. This presents opportunities and potential pitfalls.
BYOD increases efficiency. It allows employees of a business to be more accessible without requiring them to be in the office for very long hours and without requiring them to carry an extra device around for business purposes. The fact that they own their own devices also allows employees to get something that they enjoy using and that gives them a sense of ownership and control. Not to mention, a higher likelihood that devices will be well cared for.
There isn’t a serious downside to BYOD in enterprise, but it does introduce a level of complexity that did not exist before.
Someone has got to foot the bill for mobile devices. In an enterprise company the typical scenario is that if you have need to be connected to work, work pays for the device. with BYOD, the door is opened for the employer to either purchase the device for an employee, subsidize the cost, or put the complete onus on the employee. This opens all sorts of complexities when it comes to device and bill management.
IT Mobile Control:
The IT departments of 10 years ago had almost total control over which devices were allowed to access their networks and how those devices were allowed to access their networks. As time passed, this loosened up. Laptop computers, for instance, were among the first employee-owned devices that were used to access company networks and information. As Internet-enabled devices have become smaller, more portable and more integrated with other devices, IT departments have had to become more accommodating.
Today, IT departments are oftentimes the facilitators who make it possible for companies to get the most out of their IT investments. The IT department used to have a very powerful influence where making decisions about technology was concerned. They could allow or forbid devices on their networks and employees did not expect to be able to get their company email or other information outside of the company itself. Today, the IT departments spend less time dictating what employees can and cannot do and more time helping them to use technology that works.
This is not a risk-free endeavour. Good IT departments will be able to accommodate these shifts in technology. IT departments that are too stuck in the past will not be able to accommodate these changes. This means that businesses without the type of IT talent that can change networks and make them more accessible to BYOD culture will likely suffer. Those businesses that have people who can make BYOD work, however, will likely see a great increase in what they get out of their technology and how that technology adapts to employee’s needs.