Forget the faceless enterprise: productive employees bring their own identities
The modern worker knows how, where and what they want to work on. Give them choice and freedom and they’ll give you productivity and loyalty in return. Is the modern enterprise ready for them?
By 2015, Generation Y, born between 1981 – 2000, will outnumber Baby Boomers (1944-1960), Generation X (1961-1980) and the first of Generation Z (2001 – present) making their way into the workforce1.
A growing number of digital natives are now entering the workplace with expectations of choice and freedom over how, where and what device they work on. The ability to work flexibly, choose preferred devices and use their favourite operating systems could make or break company loyalty, with employees more likely to leave after two years if their needs aren’t met.For this generation, nothing less than a Bring Your Own Everything (BYOx) culture will make the grade.
In the BYOx-friendly workplace, x can stand for anything from devices, to apps, to data, to operating systems. Employees have the freedom to bring their identities into work, making them more flexible and productive in the process.
In the past two months the UK government has extended the right to request flexible working to all UK employees with 83 per cent of workers reporting higher productivity levels when working from home. The legislation could not only support staff retention, but help businesses improve the productiveness of staff.
In order to bring the flexible, productive, BYOx workplace to life, however, businesses need to first address the challenges that come with employees doing more than just connecting to company networks – such as accessing enterprise applications, downloading data and using services across a range of consumer operating systems.
Digital native workers won’t think twice about sharing business documents using file sharing applications or personal email accounts. They also won’t think twice about storing personal photos or videos on their devices, which could become an HR issue, should any incriminating content get leaked. These concerns might explain why 80 per cent of decision makers now regard data security as high priority, particularly for remote workers/p>
Today’s 21-32 year olds are fearless when it comes to technology and, consequently, less inclined to comply with tight corporate controls. Of this group12 per cent admit to storing work passwords using personal cloud based accounts, 16 per cent admit to doing the same with financial information, 22 per cent with critical private documents such as contracts and business plans and 33 per cent to storing customer data>
Businesses cannot support device flexibility and more flexible working practices without the right mobility strategies in place. While these vary from the traditional corporate provisioned device and service, through to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model, having the right policies and processes in place is critical in managing any business’ mobility environment.
Three ways to build an effective BYOx culture
Set clear policies
IT should provide a clear framework for the devices and operating systems that will and will not be supported, while outlining acceptable use when accessing the corporate network. Tools should be set up to measure against compliance and most importantly, policies should be managed and communicated regularly with employees, placing an emphasis on the greater device choice and flexibility that can be provided when policies are in place.
Manage data threats
Cloud-based security services can ensure all traffic to and from devices is scanned to safeguard against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content before it even reaches the devices. This means that personal, as well as company data, is protected.
Mobile device management services mean devices can be managed remotely, and most importantly the device content can be erased and the device can be locked if lost or stolen. Mobile threat management services can be used to prevent malicious attackers from intercepting sensitive data otherwise known as Man-in-the-Middle attacks. And password protection and data encryption can be set to support device security.