Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) allows employees to access data and applications on their personal devices. With BYOD employees can be connected to each other and to the organization’s data as it helps them to capture, manipulate, transfer, store and manage data through cloud based services.
Companies these days are adopting BYOD as it improves mobility by allowing employees to work from any location accessing the company’s data without affecting the quality of work. BYOD strategy also enhances employee satisfaction, saves cost and improves productivity of an organization.
Last year in August Blackberry released a survey, which mentioned 71 percent of Indian organizations either have a mobility policy or are in the process of drafting one.
According to the survey 42 percent of the organizations have a BYOD policy in place. IT/ITeS vertical is leading in terms of BYOD policy, followed by BFSI & Telecom, and Media & Entertainment. Organizations allow employee for BYOD policy to access email, specific app and calendaring when it comes to company information access and restrict social media sites.
Another report by IDC has found that mobile devices utilized under the BYOD model accounted for 22.5 percent, 4.9 percent and 11.7 percent of consumer smartphone, tablet and notebook PC shipped, respectively, in Asia Pacific in 2013.
BYOD adoption is growing in manufacturing sector. Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used to manage equipment remotely and observe processes when employees are on the move. For example, in February MobileIron powered TVH Group to expand Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program to manage hundreds of iOS and Android devices.
With BYOD, these organizations are able to provide easy access to productivity apps and automate the process of giving employees and guests the right level of mobile network access. Employees can download apps for email, calendar, collaboration, and job-specific tasks.
IT and management can have certain rules for employees using BYOD which forces employee to safeguard enterprise data on the device besides being responsible for personal data.
Education sector is also adopting BYOD to help its teaching staff and students share information and data more easily and quickly. Students and teachers can use their own device to access educational content.
For most of the education sector, it is not possible to provide state-of-the-art technology to every student therefore the sector is also adopting BYOD strategy as many students already have devices superior than that available in schools.
Schools in United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Britain and New Zealand are increasingly adopting the BYOD model.
BYOD programs are cost-effective for schools as they require little technical support, but at the same time enhance student engagement and enable students to keep work in one place.
In April, Calhoun County Schools deployed ADTRAN for district wide, high speed Wi-Fi to support Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. The school created a foundation for BYOD program and facilitates the use of iPad and Apple in every classroom by simplifying IT operations by offloading the management of the Wi-Fi network.
However, BYOD implementation is not free from challenges. Organizations believe that protection of the company’s data is the main concern followed by device security while using BYOD strategy. With BYOD strategy reaching an organization, organizations also need to set up a BYOD policy to guide users what they can and can’t do with their devices.
BYOD opportunities far outweigh the challenges. With innovative technologies like anti-malware, anti-spam protection, mobile device management (MDM) and stringent security policies, most of the challenges associated with BYOD can be addressed.