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Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device

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Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device/Bring Your Own Technology refers to a policy that allows members of a workforce or employees in an organization to use their personal mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and personal computers (PCs) to access data and systems of a company that are privileged and contain information and applications. This term can also be applied in the education setup where students can be allowed to use their personal devices in similar settings. Bring Your Own Device policy has gained momentum in the corporate world over the years with significant benefits. The policy has faced vast challenges. However, it should be encouraged in the setup of organizations for enhanced productivity.

The Bring Your Own Device policy has several primary benefits to various organizations. First, it brings about employee satisfaction. According to Keyes (2013), there is an added advantage within the workforce when they use their personally owned devices in an office. There is security and flexibility, and this serves to increase the productivity of the workforce. For an organization, there is a cost saving impetus that comes with the policy. Since the employees use their own devices, the organization cuts on operation costs in the purchase of items like the hardware, device maintenance and licensing of the software that the employees use. The only cost associated with such an environment is on the organization’s systems.

A major benefit of the policy to an organization is the added productivity gains accrued. Employees naturally will be happier using their own devices in a work environment, and this creates comfort and fast operations and input. This translates to productivity that is a major boost for the organization. Some of the key ways the concept can enhance overall working experience to an end user is through the localization of the applications and data systems. This is through motivation of the staff, allowing applications that create enhanced teamwork through communication while personalizing the work environment within the official setup as the employees remain comfortable with their personal devices.

The use of Bring Your Own Device policy comes with certain risks especially to security. Ballard (2012) states that the policy has resulted in several data breaches. For example, an employee can use his or her smart phone to access an organization’s network and accidentally lose the phone. The untrusted parties who come across the phone can retrieve the company data, which is unsecured and use it for various crimes. In addition, when an employee leaves the organization, he/she leaves the company with his/her mobile device containing the unsecured data. This can be used to perpetrate crimes in the name of the company. In terms of roles that govern customer faxing, the use of the phone number remains with the employee, and this can be used to help competitors.

Major risks associated with Bring Your Own Device policy include capability and scalability. Many organizations lack proper infrastructure of networks in handling large traffic of data when the employees use their devices at the same time. Earlier on, simple WLAN infrastructure was capable of handling the traffic, but with sophisticated smartphones, it is quite difficult. Some of the security controls include market and policies by application virtualization, containerization and mobile device management. This includes monitoring of security threats in companies’ data systems and applications, and signing of policies that require confiscation of devices if found to contravene classified or criminal data by the governments. Other means that have been employed include monitoring and tracking of the data usage and abuse of the companies’ networks and applications by advanced security software.

Bring Your Own Device policy was effectively used in the Ford Motors Company from the onset of 2007 (Lai, 2011). The company entrusted the use of the Blackberry mobile service in providing gadgets for the company, which some employees would use for sales and marketing of the company’s products. In addition, the company allowed the employees to use their mobile devices in the functioning of its operations during the period of the policy introduction. This ultimately had significant results in terms of productivity and performance by the company. There was increased satisfaction within the working environment by the workers, and it boosted the business gains through the overall returns. The company even set about to offer stipends to the employees as reimbursements in the usage of their personal devices.

In conclusion, Bring Your Own Device policy is quite an effective means of gaining business profitability in an organization. Personally, I would recommend the use of the policy in a real organization with strict rules and security management strategies in curbing any crimes that can arise from the deployment. Despite the security risks involved, the benefits of the policy far outweigh them. There is general employee satisfaction, minimal added cost to the organization in terms of hardware purchases, software licensing and device maintenance while the productivity levels of the employees increases with flexibility within the working environment.

 

References:

Ballard, M. (2012). Bring your own device – Unabridged Guide. Dayboro: Emereo Publishing.

Keyes, J. (2013). Bring your own devices (BYOD) survival guide. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis.

Lai, E. (2011). How Ford Motor Deployed Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Forbes. Web. July 15, 2014. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/sap/2011/12/07/how-ford-motor-deployed-bring-your-own-device-byod/

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