The internet-connected devices were cheaper and more versatile as a result, and their popularity quickly spread to the consumer market. Computers are no longer a part of our daily lives. They were once huge technological marvels that could only be housed and maintained by large research institutions and companies. Computing power has become so small that people can now have a wide range of gadgets to choose from.
According to Pew Research Center, over two-thirds of Americans owned a smartphone in 2015. Only 45 percent of Americans had a tablet at their home. These levels of ownership have enabled an unprecedented age of information, but it has also led to an interesting trend in the workplace: bring your own device.
This is a new concept. Employers were expected to provide all the tools their workers need to do their jobs. Innovation is essential in the business world. BYOD could change the way the office looks. Let’s take a closer look at this trend and see what companies can learn from it as well as what obstacles they face.
“ABYOD policy” means that companies won’t need to invest as much money in new hardware.
BYOD can be very beneficial
It’s important to remember that employees can bring their own devices to work. BYOD policies save companies money on hardware. Technology is constantly evolving, so it’s important to use the best technology available. It’s impossible to update the gadgets that employees use on a daily basis.
On the other hand, the average consumer purchases new devices almost every day. Many people will buy a new phone or computer every year. This can be very beneficial for the company. Employers can enjoy the convenience and speed of modern gadgets without actually having to pay for them.
BYOD actually has been proven to increase productivity. According to Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, the average American BYOD user saved approximately 81 minutes per week by using their own device at work. This equates to an extra 70 hours of productivity each year.
Employers can get almost two additional weeks of work from their employees by allowing them to use their phones and computers for work purposes. There are many reasons for this, but one reason is that employees are already familiar with their devices and don’t need to spend time learning how to use them. Staff members who have a BYOD policy may bring their work home, since company data will be on the device.
There are also downsides
There are some negative aspects to BYOD, as with any emerging trend. The security of company information is the biggest concern. While workers may be able to bring this data home, it also presents significant security concerns. The first problem is the current mindset surrounding smartphone security.
Companies that aren’t prepared for BYOD face security risks. Many people don’t see their smartphones as full-fledged computers. This means that they don’t take the same precautions as they would with a desktop or laptop. According to Consumer Reports, 34% of respondents didn’t use any security measures to protect their smartphone’s information. This includes a 4-digit pin that indicates that a large portion of the population could easily lose control over their smartphone’s data by simply leaving it on a train or bus.
This is a frightening fact because it means that company information can be stolen at a moment’s notice. While malicious strangers are a real threat, organizations must also be concerned about who is using the employee-owned device. Computer Weekly’s William Long pointed out the many problems facing institutions in this area.
Long stated that these issues include ensuring that work data is not merged with an employee’s personal data [and] that non-employees such as family members who use a device do not have access to work data.”
While most employees won’t mind letting a friend use their phone, it could cause a serious breach of company data. Employers cannot leave such decisions up to their employees.
However, employees are using their own devices.
While there are obvious disadvantages to BYOD programs in the workplace, they can be mitigated if the company does the right things. The problem is that many companies don’t realize that employees will be using their own devices, regardless of company policy.
Gartner’s study of 4,300 Americans revealed some alarming results that should make administrators rethink their security measures for their company’s data. The survey revealed that 37% of those who use their gadgets for work purposes do not have the express permission of their bosses.
“Employees use gadgets that they make because it’s convenient and they don’t know about security risks.”
This is a large portion of the workforce that has information on their smartphones and laptops they shouldn’t be taking with them. This shocking realization should be enough to convince you of how important it is for your company to have a BYOD policy. This isn’t because employees are malicious or don’t care what happens to the company. They use their own gadgets because they are easy to use and they often don’t know the security risk they pose to their employer.
What can offices do for their employees?