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My poll last month on how companies were supporting BYOD received a great response.  Interestingly, there wasn’t any outright winner as shown below, indicating that BYOD is still very much a choice for businesses rather than the norm.

However, with 63% of votes for either full or some adoption, it did indicate a swing towards some form of BYOD.  This means if they haven’t already, IT Directors and Managers should be discussing, strategizing and communicating their stance on BYOD.

Keeping the Facebook Generation Happy

Delving deeper into the figures revealed another interesting statistic; of the 58 respondents who said BYOD is not supported, nearly 45% of them were aged between 18 and 29.

Why is this important? 

Businesses are nothing without their employees and keeping talent is one of the main aims of most businesses.  The Facebook generation are more likely to want to use their own equipment, therefore, businesses who do support BYOD are contributing positively to a talent retention policy.  Happier and empowered employees are far more likely to remain with their currently employer and BYOD can be one aspect can help this policy.

 Businesses not supporting the latest technology

The consumer appetite for the latest tools and gadgets is far more advanced than that of the business environment (apart from gadget hungry CEOs). Many respondents said they used their technology, in particular Tablets, because the business was too slow at adopting new technology and hence missed opportunities.

This is a fair comment and businesses who do not have the resources for all the latest trends should consider which types of device they are unable to supply and providing they are able to support them, providing a trial to these types of devices.  This may result in a significant business benefit which may not have been thought of and which may entice the CFO into opening his or her wallet!

Security

Of the comments there was an overwhelming response stating the reason why BYOD isnot supported is due to security concerns.  This was expected. Most businesses are concerned over employees holding business data on personal machines and IT departments are unhappy about having to manage multiple different makes, models and operating systems.

There are a number of services that can help here; from separating internet traffic to secure internet gateways to employing full thin client architectures so that work is retained within the business infrastructure. However, these cost money – a lot in some cases. If a business BYOD policy is about keeping employees happy and productive it may be cheaper to provide everyone with a new laptop with the latest OS and Office package every 3 years!

Conclusion

There are lots of benefits and risks to BYOD and these differ depending on the size and complexity of each business. Large organisations would save in hardware cost if everyone used their own Laptops, however, they may need to employ large thin client architectures to offset the security risk which then may offset any cost saving.

Smaller organisations may also benefit from hardware savings and improved productivity, however, there are significant risks if the business is not proactively managing threats such as data protection or malware attacks.

BYOD is here and there will be many businesses that adopt it and many that won’t and many that will bury their head in the sand.  At the very least, business should consider all aspects of BYOD and produce their policy that clearly outlines what is and what isn’t supported. 

Read my other blogs on BYOD.

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