BYOD: The good, the bad and the just plain unsafe

BYOD: The good, the bad and the just plain unsafe

BYOD increase the security risks of businesses.

Remember the good ol’ days? The days when you were judged on your work performance by the level of darkness outside when you stumbled in – and out – of work. Where your dedication to the job was assessed on one simple factor: your line manager could see you. As long as you were in the office at 8am, hunched over your desk with your forehead knitted into an expression of fierce concentration, you could indulge in Candy Crush to your heart’s content.

 

Aren’t you glad those days are over?

Well, perhaps not quite over, but it’s apparent that over the past few years there’s been a rise in a more mobile workforce. This increased desire for flexi-time comes hand-in-hand with what the tech aficionados call, ‘BYOD’ (Bring Your Own Device.)

Gaynor MacArthur, Sales Director at Digicape – a premium Apple reseller and total solutions provider, agrees that the traditional organisational model is in a state of flux. “The 21st century workforce demands a more flexible model. There’s a greater emphasis on work-life balance, with employees seeking to be evaluated on their output and delivery rather than hours on the clock.”

“As a result, companies are reenvisioning their organisational structures to implement systems that better support this new style of working.”

BYOD, where employees bring personally-owned devices to their place of work and use them to access company resources, is part of this new wave of greater mobility. The global BYOD market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 25% between 2014 and 2019, according to Information Management.

“And it’s not just employees who profit, says MacArthur. “BYOD makes an attractive case for companies too.” While many articles cite decreased costs for the employer as the largest advantage, further reports have shown that those less obvious may be the most beneficial long term.

Cisco reported a 33% increase in employee satisfaction when it allowed BYOD, while another survey indicated that mobile workers were clocking around 240 more hours each year than those office bound, as revealed in a Capgemini Consulting report.

And when employees have agency over the selection of device, it appears as though tech innovator Apple comes out tops. In 2015, IBM took the decision to offer employees the choice to move from PC to Mac when their company kit needed upgrading.

When given the option to choose for themselves, 73% of employees chose Mac, and the company subsequently reported 91% user satisfaction.

“Aside from Apple technology’s pull power, it makes sense from a productivity and systems management perspective, as Mac’s superior OS software means that the Apple system requires far fewer updates than Windows.”

 

So what’s the catch? Why isn’t every company deploying BYOD?

“The biggest concern with BYOD is security, explains MacArthur. “Company data can be compromised and not every device may have the same stringent software an employer would install, and thus are more susceptible to viruses.”
Apple, with its superior privacy policies and rich Mobile Device Management (MDM) infrastructure, once again came out tops for data security and virus protection. With technology that constantly monitors and encrypts, the risk of infection is mitigated.

Thanks to these advancements in the tech sphere, BYOD is not only making sense from a bottom line perspective, but also in terms of talent attraction and retention. “BYOD communicates that employees are trusted in making their own decisions, and their needs are prioritised, says MacArthur.

“As long as the company’s privileged information is protected and a robust infrastructure is in place to mitigate security threats, companies will reap the rewards of a more flexible working environment and BYOD.”

Staff Writer

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