Are you ready for Bring Your Own Device?
Technology is a driver of competitive advantage and innovation in the business world, but with such progression comes challenges. Technology is forever evolving and keeping up with change continues to be a struggle for many IT departments.
With employees expecting to work very differently from a generation ago, these challenges are set to grow. You can now work wherever you are, at any time and on any device. This means better collaboration, increased mobility, better business control and an empowered workforce. It’s essentially “business without boundaries”.
And this flexibility in working has resulted in an increasing trend for company employees wanting to use their own devices to access company data. According to IDC, 95% of employees have used their own device in work and they are often newer and more advanced than the equipment offered by many IT departments. So it’s hardly surprising that this new IT self-sufficiency is changing the way that people want to work and has led to the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).
There are some key advantages to operating a BYOD strategy, including increased employee satisfaction as they can work more flexibly; cost savings due to reduced hardware spend, software licensing and device maintenance plus productivity gains as employees are more comfortable and often work faster with their own technology. BYOD also means the workforce is no longer tied to a single location and customers can get in touch using a single number, whether their key contact is in the office or out and about.
However, employees expect to have the same level of access to their company systems and applications as they have on business-provided devices and this is where convenience clashes with security. But businesses must recognise the importance of taking action, as by far the biggest risk is not having any sort of BYOD policy in place at all. And by ignoring the challenge, companies may inadvertently expose themselves to attack.
So the arrival of BYOD is forcing IT departments to develop and implement policies that govern the management of multiple, unsupported devices. What data can employees have access to? What security measures are in place? What happens if an employee’s device is lost, compromised or stolen?
According to a survey by Spiceworks, a third of IT professionals say their BYOD policy works well for some devices and poorly for others, while 23% say it’s a headache for their department. Only 17% maintain that they fully embrace the trend.
BYOD is about being innovative and helping your people to work better. Employees want to use the devices that they are comfortable with in the workplace and they want to have the same experience at work that they have at home. And by giving employees what they want, companies will ultimately benefit – providing that they instigate some control to reduce risk.
Personal Unified Communications (UC) is helping to transform Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies by providing improved collaboration.The research firm ZK Research defines personal UC as, “the ability to deliver a consistent set of UC services to any user, on any device in any work location.”
Personal UC used in collaboration with BYOD policies further enhances the capabilities of the growing mobile workforce. Empowering mobile workers with the same features they use on desktop UC solutions transforms every employee-owned endpoint into a full, robust opportunity for unprecedented collaboration. Businesses can further refine operations to improve productivity as employees become more capable when mobile. Organisations that make the best of personal UC are set to gain a valuable competitive advantage.
For advice on implementing BYOD, contact us on 0161 788 0000.
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