BYOD: Bring Your Own Demise
BYOD (bring you own device) has increased in popularity in recent years owing to a juncture in key work shifts. For one, accessibility to good technology is increasing, meaning that the once formed gap that separated your work PC and your home device has irradiated, if not polarised.
The second important factor is the shift into software; the movement to SaaS [software as a service] applications has meant that most tasks can be done through a browser.
Such influencers have come together to create a workforce that is more mobile, and less reliant on office hardware, as such “Gartner Predicts by 2017, Half of Employers will Require Employees to Supply Their Own Device for Work Purposes”. This is a real turning point from where we viewed ourselves less than 15 years ago.
While BYOD may provide benefits of mobility, reduced office costs, and a simpler process of onboarding staff, it comes at a cost, a significantly big one… the access to data.
One of the most beneficial factors of having staff working on offices devices was that most of what they were creating stayed within the company, and therefore, you maintained control. But through giving them access on their own device, you relinquish certain authority, which is further amplified by the ease at which people can save to free, SaaS application such as Dropbox, which rapidly puts your company at risk. Not only can this be a compliance disaster, but if they leave the company, they take your data with them.
Such is the change in term – BYOD: bring your own demise.
Through legitimising their access, from wherever they are, you have, through good intentions, sacrificed the integrity of one of your most precious asset.
You can restrict their access to the information from other devices, ensure that they can only work at the office. Yes, this may aid in some way, but you very much curtail the ability of your company to become mobile. Through attempting to dislodge the innate nature of your staff, especially millennials, you will force people into Rogue IT, whereby people undermine the system, such as send documents through personal emails, in view of accessing that information on other devices.
While some attempt to use this system, you will either have disgruntled staff, staff with inadequate tools, which the company will eventually suffer from, or those staff will leave in view of working for a more liberal organisation.
Give all of your staff [or those that would be mobile] a device to which they can access work materials. Through restricting them to a domain, you can ensure that they only have certain access on that device, and you can give them a more mobile option. In theory, this works really well, because if a staff member leaves, you simply reset the device for a new employee.
However, this can be an incredibly costly situation, especially if you are a SMB, as this is not a one-off cost, and therefore you will continually be forking out large dough to update or buy new hardware for employees. You also have the matter of damages and unless your are a FTSE 500 company, most employers can afford such large capital expenditure.
Option three is the most modern, cost efficient, empowering and secure led method. This option is focused on enabling staff to bring their own devices to work, but to also give them access to their information, and general company data, even while they are no longer on the network. It will mean that they can go about their work as they see fit and not feel restricted, or in need of using deviant means to work. They can just focus on the job at hand.
The way this is done is through tools like Microsoft’s Enterprise Mobility Suite – whereby staff can put information, such as through their OneDrive for Business on their device, however they are unable to do certain mechanisms, such as screen shot, copy, or send via a private email address. However if they do have documents saved locally, and they are no longer at the company, restrictions will disable them from opening those documents,and with futurist techniques, such as holographic technology, whereby you cannot even take a photo of your screen, you will be fully covered, and your information secure.
The entire nature of giving your staff access, is to enable them to thrive, and therefore, let the company feel the benefits, however if you are giving them the tools to steal, you are your own worst enemy.
The reason that problems like Rogue IT have occurred are because companies have looked at the technology first, and then thought about the people, however it should be the other way around. We strongly believe that a companies staff are its most important assets and therefore you should be doing your best to ensure they are equipped to do there job. In first establishing what they need, you can then begin to find technological solutions, rather than constricting them.
There are those who say that they trust their staff with company information outside of work, however trust isn’t really where you should be. Anyone, no matter what intentions could otherwise take company data off the domain, so it is imperative to ensure that there are barriers in place to stop such irreversible occurrences.
Well our first thoughts our to understand staff, survey them, speak to them, analyse them with tools like Centrix Software. Once you know where they stand, you will know where you want to be. But at all times ensuring that your data is secure, and that you are not putting in place a system that could otherwise lead to the downfall of your company’s integrity, and legal standing.
We would love to hear what your thoughts are on BYOD, comment below :].