The mobile work style is on the rise, and there is no denying it. Whether we like it or not, the bring your own device (BYOD) movement is rapidly ceasing to become a trend as more businesses go mobile; it is starting to become the norm. Organizations that wish to get ahead of the pack have implemented BYOD policies. However, there are businesses still wary of implementing BYOD for their operations, no thanks to the risks and challenges of doing so. In order to stay afloat in the industry, these businesses must rethink their views on BYOD. Gartner predicts that 2017 will see half of business owners and employers requiring their workforce to supply their own mobile devices.
If you wish to gain footing for your company in the mobile computing area, then it would be wise to start preparing for and implementing BYOD policies as soon as possible.
BYOD: The Challenges
The benefits to using the policy cannot be denied: happier and more engaged employees, increased productivity, heightened customer satisfaction and higher revenues. But no system is perfect; these benefits are balanced with challenges that may be difficult to manage. However, with awareness and education, any organization can overcome them. Here we list some possible risks and how you can effectively manage them:
- Sensitive data exposure. This has always been a challenge, even before the birth of mobile computing and BYOD. But the risk of data loss seems greater if you will be sharing it through a wireless network. Unlike tethered computers, mobile devices are prone to loss and theft. Smartphones and tablets (and all the data stored in them) can fall into the wrong hands. Ease your worries by adopting wireless solutions that guarantee strong encryption and protection and a secure wipe policy that can remotely erase all company data.
- Compatibility concerns. Adapting a BYOD policy means the possibility of having employees bring different devices using different platforms. Managing multiple operating systems might not just cut it for your IT personnel, so aside from investing in a customized mobile device management (MDM) solution, set a limit on the kind of devices and platform you will allow.
- Bandwidth issues. The introduction of mobile devices in the workplace can bring about many bandwidth issues. Will your network be able to handle these issues? To avoid this pitfall, invest in a wireless LAN that guarantees optimum speed and performance before you even start implementing BYOD policies.
- Distractions and decreased productivity. Smartphones and gadgets have always served as a way for communicating on social media, and employees using their devices to access their Facebook or Instagram accounts during company hours is yet another challenge you have to overcome. Get through this hurdle by establishing a policy that restricts these activities by putting the devices on the company wireless network.