Of all the things that small business owners have to consider in the course of everyday operations, one of the oddest yet potentially most valuable involves four simple letters: BYOD. Short for bring your own device, it’s a principle that sounds easy to work with, but quickly expands into a maze of new considerations, potential risks, and possible rewards. This leaves astute business owners with one question: how do I get BYOD to work for me?
The Benefits of BYOD
BYOD represents a novel plan: instead of providing a certain technology platform for employees or contractors to work from, the business instead allows said workers to bring in their device of choice and use it accordingly. Instead of having to train an employee on a business’s particular version of software, hardware, or combination thereof, the business can allow the employee to work with the tools most preferable to the job.
Such a plan allows the business to remove a major investment in internal hardware—no more buying computers for the office—and put that investment elsewhere. Plus, there’s an improvement in morale as employees can work on platforms they feel confident about using, which eliminates the learning curve. There’s even value here for a mobile workforce and disaster planning; if an office is struck by a natural disaster, mobile devices allow employees to work from unaffected places.
No Reward Without Risk
The issue with BYOD is that these personal devices are often used for personal matters, after hours, or even sometimes illicitly during working hours. This poses new challenges for the network, and even for the device. Exposure to viruses and other malware are bad enough for the personal user; for the work user, it could be disastrous. If a device is lost or stolen, proprietary information could be lost along with it and potentially end up in the wrong hands.
Making BYOD Work
So, what to do in response? A simple strategy called mobile device management (MDM) can be the saving grace here, as proper MDM operations help protect against many common BYOD problems. With MDM in place, sensitive data on a device can be deleted at any time, and several security measures can be added to further protect the devices in question. MDM can even be automated, to some extent, to help protect all devices evenly.
Those who want to put BYOD in place need to understand both the risk and the reward to get the most out of such practices. Offerings like those from Copper State Communications, including both IT managed services and cloud-based systems, can be a big help in providing the desired level of security and protection businesses need to take full advantage of BYOD. Contact us today to learn how BYOD can be a boost to your business.