BYOD is an acronym that stands for bring your own device. What this essentially means is running an office or office network, whereby employees will need to bring their own devices to work rather than have computers and equipment provided at the office. BYOD is made extremely simple with new technology that increases business capabilities.
Because laptops and mobile computers are becoming much more powerful, it is now possible for employees to purchase laptops and mobile devices that can complete complex tasks on the go. Many laptops can now run advanced programs such as Adobe Photoshop, illustrator, AutoCAD and a number of other drafting programs. Instead of having to provide the machines and equipment for employees to utilize the software, a business will simply have to provide the software and a space for employees to work.
Changing over to a BYOD office is fairly simple and many businesses and employees seem to be happy with the results. Employees enjoy the idea of a BYOD office because it makes it much easier for them to work at home and on their own time, as well as always have access to important documents when they need them outside of work. Employers enjoy this system because it cuts down on operating costs and can increase efficiency in the office. There are some clear benefits and risks to using BYOD for your office network however.
The benefits for using BYOD
Can cut down on equipment costs for an office: computers and equipment will no longer have to be purchased and maintained by the company. Some computing equipment may be purchased but if employees are willing to use their own devices, this can cut down on operating costs exponentially.
Can increase the efficiency of work: because employees can take work home with them it allows people to consistently update projects wherever necessary as well as put in extra time wherever they may be, even if it’s on vacation.
Can make employees more reachable: if employees have access to documents through devices such as a smart phone, they will be able to deliver clear and definitive answers if they are contacted by a customer or other company employee while they are away from the office.
Can establish a mobile office with the use of cloud storage: if multiple employees are using their own devices with a cloud storage system, it can be much easier and cheaper to access data from cloud computing and multiple devices.
More employees can work from home saving office space: this is another way that you can reduce operating costs. By having employees only come in a few times a week, companies can cut down on resources that are used in the office.
The risks for using BYOD
Company data could be easily leaked: because these devices are out in the real world, with important customer information, company documents and more there is always a chance that one of these devices could be stolen. This could lead to customer information being given out, company accounts being compromised and more.
Multiple computers could be infected with viruses: some viruses can travel across computer networks and if one of your employees does not take the proper precautions to protect their devices against viruses, it could infect each device connected to your office network.
Files could be lost costing the company time: if your employees are not backing up important work as they go it could lead to data loss. Employees may have to spend extra time recovering lost work if their devices fail.
More room for distraction: many of the devices that employees bring in will not only have applications for work, but they will also have many applications for play as well. Employees will have a variety of applications where they can play games, look at personal photos, complete personal projects and more. Because many employees will bring in their own personal computers there is more room for distraction using BYOD versus a work computer.
Assuring your business is ready for BYOD
To make sure that your business is completely ready to take on a BYOD style office, you may want to ease into this new system by only allowing certain devices in the beginning. Make sure to state requirements for each device that will be connected to an office network. Think of things like password protecting each computer and device, installing antivirus software, security measures on files and more. By trying the process out you can get a feel for whether or not it will work for your office. Rather than jump in right away, experiment with BYOD, and see if it is something that will work for your employees and your business style.
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This post was proudly presented by D. Blackthorn, a security software expert and a technology blogger. Dmitri is looking for new online security tips incl. email protection, DDoS protection, sandboxing solution and more.