Without a doubt, you probably own a smartphone, tablet or laptop. You may also own two or all three of these devices. With the introduction of smarter mobile technology comes smarter ways of conducting business, and companies are beginning to see the correlation and implementing its benefits like never before.
How has the concept of bringing your own device (BYOD) impacted the corporate world? What benefits can employers reap from the BYOD policy? How does BYOD merge with cloud computing technologies?
What is BYOD?
Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to the policy of allowing employees to bring and regularly use personally-‐owned mobile devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, to their respective workplaces and utilize those devices to access controlled and privileged company information and applications.
For employers, understanding how the transition to a BYOD policy will affect your business and your employees is extremely vital.
Why incorporate a BYOD policy?
In a recent study conducted by IBM, 82 percent of respondents expect smartphones to play a “critical role in business productivity in the next two years,” and 36 percent of those surveyed deemed laptops critical to overall productivity.
Alone, Cloud Server Hosting and the concept of BYOD offer some real advantages. But when combined, cloud computing and the establishment of BYOD becomes an even more useful means of conducting business.
Sensitive information and the BYOD model.
Although, the BYOD model is not without its faults: security is one of the biggest objections employers have with the use of personal devices. If a worker’s smartphone, tablet or laptop falls into the wrong hands—whether accidentally or on purpose—employers fear that their sensitive corporate information will fall into those hands as well.
There is hope, however; even if this sensitive information is accessed from an employee’s device, it can still be safe and secure within a cloud environment, and the employee can quickly and easily access the data from their next device. With all vital data stored within a cloud environment, this process is seamless. Employees will be held more accountable for their personal devices—they don’t want to have to shell out a thousand dollars for a new laptop! Since they’re held more responsible for their devices, they are likely to take better care of them, saving you both time and a headache down the road.
Through the cloud, all storage and data processing occurs on the mobile devices, but the data isn’t actually stored on the employees’ local hard drives, ensuring supreme levels of security.
Mobile device management.
Perhaps you’re worried about these mobile devices obtaining a virus. Mobile device management, a service offered by many of the cloud hosting providers, helps secure worker’s devices from outside malicious attacks by using the cloud as a centralized headquarters. Additionally, mobile device management tools allow IT team members to remotely wipe lost or stolen devices to ensure the security of sensitive information.
Mobile device management tools are extremely important when establishing a BYOD policy because personal devices are viewed by hackers as incredibly easy access points. These tools aid in preventing data breaches that could otherwise bring a company down to its knees.
Other BYOD benefits.
Another benefit of utilizing the cloud for employee’s devices is that it can minimize time-‐wasting behaviors, such as online messaging, surfing and playing games, as it provides a greater visibility into employee activity. Additionally, some cloud server hosting plans provide URL filtering, which can keep track of the websites employees visit in real time.
Of course, organizations should always maintain open lines of communication with their employees. Discuss appropriate workplace activities when on the business network and provide information regarding monitoring measures in place to ensure productivity. And the open workplace is an efficient one!
As your employees’ devices age, you continue to save money, as you no longer need to shell out copious sums of money maintaining, updating and repairing these devices. There is no need for complex in-‐house architecture, so there is no need for an extensive IT department. Simply hire a few individuals to maintain day-‐to-‐day operations, and you’ll be set.
The cloud enables your employees to store all necessary files and other information in a secure storage center. Since they can access this information from any device in practically any location, they won’t need to waste paper and ink by printing out large documents. If you have ever bought printer ink, you know that this means significant savings!
Together, the BYOD and a cloud computing solution have the potential to save companies unbelievable amounts of money. Employers no longer need to worry about investing in expensive mobile technology—that responsibility now lies on the employee, although you may want to implement a reimbursement program to keep your employees happy.
Employees love using their own devices, and happy employees mean productive employees. If you have not yet considered the bring your own device method, you may want to think again. When combined with the power of cloud computing, BYOD can maintain a productive, positive workplace.