There has been a lot of hype recently regarding the implementation of BYOD strategies. BYOD stands for “bring your own device” this is a not a new concept but has been a key focus for IT managers during the last two years.
There are many advantages and disadvantages associated with BYOD, and this has left companies unsure as to whether this is really the right strategy for their organisation.

Before taking BYOD into consideration it’s essential that every business owner is aware of how the technology market is changing. The technology industry is going through a period of mobile adoption with 1.4 billion smart phones expected to be used globally by the end of this year. It is anticipated that there will be ten billion devices used by 2020.

Is BYOD the right choice?

Many companies have already started implementing a BYOD strategy due to the number of employees that connecting to the corporate network via personal devices. Most employees own either a smartphone, tablet or laptop and often bring these personal devices to the office for work or personal use.

One of the main problems with BYOD is security, a majority of these devices aren’t managed and therefore haven’t been assessed by the IT department. This is risky as it opens up the corporate network to unsecured devices making data protection of critical importance. Many IT manufacturers are starting to develop solutions to help organisations manage personal devices.

There are benefits when implementing a BYOD strategy, one is productivity. According to a recent study 45% of organisations that have implemented a BYOD scheme has seen an increase in staff productivity.

What you need to know

As the demand for mobile devices increases IT departments need to think hard about security, access and personal data before allowing staff to access the corporate network with their own devices.

While a large number of companies allow staff to use their own devices during office hours, they aren’t aware that seven million smartphones are lost each year. This is a huge problem when you take into consideration that 35% of employees will keep their work passwords stored on their devices. You need to be prepared for online and offline threats.

Another thing that organisations need to consider is that over 60% of internet users will not verify the security of a website before using it and 19% will use their work email for personal reasons. You can never be too sure that your staff are using their devices for legitimate reasons and your BYOD strategy must factor this in.

While BYOD does appear to be in demand because of the number of personal devices owned by staff, at the same time it poses a serious security risk to companies. However, is definitely going to be the year for mobile, and we will see around seventy percent of all employees conducting business on their own personal devices, enabling them to work from anywhere at any time and increasing productivity exponentially.