Bring your own device: fine in theory, even better in practice

Jump to next section
Search Results

The initial drive for BYOD came from the top down. Busy senior executives had seen the benefits of using devices such as iPads to help organize their lives. We are now seeing this drive coming from the bottom up too, as younger individuals join the workforce and want to access the technology they are comfortable using.

However, this new tech-savvy and vocal workforce has taken the drive for flexibility one step further as their attitude to work and personal life is blurred. The next generation of worker appears to have a more flexible attitude to working hours and the way that they would like to work. Mobility is a vital element in satisfying this type of employee and BYOD is proving one of the best methods of delivering this.

In meeting these needs, an effective BYOD policy allows the company to better control the types of devices and how they are being used within the organisation. This makes regulations around security and finance easier to accommodate. As it stands many organisations are unaware of what devices the workforce is using within the business, making it impossible to adopt a level of control. By identifying what devices are being used and establishing a usage policy, the organisation can set an appropriate benchmark and regain that control once more. Policy development requires a strategic, well-planned approach with collaboration from all relevant departments. Organisations who get it right will have acknowledged the breadth of planning that goes into making BYOD work.

BYOD is now entering what Gartner calls the ‘Slope of Enlightenment’ phase where, after all the hype has died down, the enterprise reacts to the technology and distinguishes its specific benefits. At this point we begin to see the emergence of second and third generation trends and products. Companies may consider, for example, adopting a choose your own device (CYOD) approach which allows the worker to select from a catalogue of company-purchased mobile devices. This enables the workforce to benefit from mobility and gives the company greater control over security and ownership.

Mobility will drive tomorrow’s business. Whether the organisation adopts BYOD or CYOD, it is essential for IT and HR departments to develop a supporting policy. Only then can the organisation capitalise on the potential of BYOD and effectively protect its IP and employees from associated risks.

The distinguishing factor of any successful business is the ability to predict and respond to the next trend. A robust mobile policy allows the true capability of mobility to be unlocked - an essential step for any company committed to preparing itself to support the workforce of the future.