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Way to go… BYOD!

If you are running an IT company or if you are an employee of an IT-based firm, BYOD (short for Bring your own device) would not be a new term for you to hear about. BYOD happened to be the most debated topic in the recent years, especially in the IT industry. There have been a lot of discussions on the implementation of BYOD in the IT industry in India. Deciding on the usage of BYOD is considered to be one of the crucial decisions made by the top management so as to enable the company move up the ladder in the competitive market.

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So what is this BYOD?

BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, which is a part of a growing trend that is dubbed to be similar to that of BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), BYOP (Bring Your Own Phone), BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC) initiatives. With the increasing battle to stay in the competition in the present market, IT employees are more converged towards accessing their workspace using their own devices. Using corporate data using employee owned devices is the concept of BYOD.

BYOD encourages employees to access corporate data by their desired smart devices such as smart phones, tablets, etc. This indeed results in reduced operating costs and increased productivity for the companies, especially the small and medium based companies which face heavy competition from big IT organizations.

Why it is important?

BYOD is a trend targeting employees who already own smart devices such as laptops, tablets, smart phones, etc. BYOD integrates the personal devices of the employees with the data systems of the company, thereby enabling them to access corporate data from anywhere as per their convenience. Startups, small and medium-based companies ( SMBs) especially get benefited by BYOD implementation. They can cut costs, provide employees their comfortable workspace and ultimately increase productivity. If employees bring their own devices to work, it becomes a prime opportunity for partners to help with customer’s provision applications, roll out with single sign-on, leverage cloud storage, and more. The channel helps SMBs to educate their employees on BYOD adoption and use. By partnering with the leaders in the industry, solutions providers can educate employees and save SMBs resources by preventing security breaches. Additionally, SMBs partnering with an IT service company will benefit by expanding their IT department and getting additional specialized support besides getting educated about other new technologies.

It is found that about 42% of the Indian companies have a BYOD policy. Mobility is a top priority for most organizations with 71% saying they either have a mobility policy or are at present in the process of drafting one. Data security (76%) and control of devices (62%) emerged as the key requirements for implementing mobility solutions.

Benefits of implementing BYOD

There are certain advantages which come along with implementation of BYID strategy in the enterprises. They are listed below:

 It increases employee satisfaction towards work.
 It reduces operating costs incurred by the company in the workspace, such as on hardware, software, electricity, etc.
 IT industry is always accompanied with stress, With BYOD, employees are more responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the devices they personally own. Hence, it lessens the strain on the IT staff and they can actually spend more time focusing on more important issues.

Risks and Challenges

Implementing BYOD comes with a cost. If you are not aware of the proper implementation strategies of BYOD, your company will face potential security threats due to the application of BYOD strategy. Some of the major issues are:

 Security is the main concern for companies that make use of BYOD strategy. Employees will have full control over corporate data. Security and the loss of devices with limited password protection is naturally a key concern.
 It requires, in other words compels employees to have such compatible devices with them.
 Many a time, the devices used by employees might be incompatible with that of the corporate system.

The Road ahead…

As mentioned, employees are likely to have a whole range of devices varying in capabilities. So it is very well worth trying to find the technology for eLearning that will function on as many platforms as possible. Again, finding out from employees what devices they have beforehand rather than reacting to problems after rolling out the technology is important when implementing a BYOD policy. Viruses and Spyware can cause untold damage to your business. So before setting BYOD up, research has to be made by the companies on the security options available and see if they will cover what they need. If they don’t, it is probably not worth taking the risk as with that many devices, someone is likely to pick up a virus. Another way around it is to always to make sure people only have access to the data they actually need at any one point to lessen risk – however this isn’t an overall solution.

This blog is written by Bhoopal Ram, Sr Analyst with DART Consulting.

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