Why it’s time to embrace the benefits of BYOD

08/03/20193 Minute Read

BYOD is growing. While some IT professionals may face-palm at the idea of allowing foreign devices into their network perimeter, the writing is on the wall, and the benefits of BYOD can’t be ignored. In fact, the global market for BYOD solutions is in the middle of an impressive 27.6 percent compound annual growth rate. While businesses in areas like Singapore aren’t quite ready to move their workforce out of the office, the number of mobile workers is set to rise, thanks to the prevalence of laptops and excellent connectivity in homes and public spaces.

The mobility takeover is inevitable, but have you really taken the time to weigh the benefits of BYOD?

What are the benefits of BYOD?

BYOD—at least from a user perspective—is all about convenience. Users are simply more comfortable using their own devices. That said, mere convenience isn’t enough reason for most organisations to take the BYOD plunge. You probably need a little factual evidence to suggest the move is worth it. How can you beat a good, old-fashioned list of pros and cons?

BYOD pros:

  • Equipment cost transferred to users
  • Users can work with the devices they prefer
  • Increased mobility
  • Potential for enhanced productivity as users stick closer to their devices

BYOD cons:

  • Loss of absolute device control
  • Support becomes trickier in a heterogeneous environment
  • Potential security risks, as device administration passes to the user
  • Compatibility concerns
  • Greater potential for shadow IT

Understand the security considerations

Despite all the doom and gloom associated with BYOD security, the future holds hope for this growing trend. One reason, in particular, may actually lead BYOD into a more secure future than traditional, corporate-owned devices: the insatiable appetite for the latest and greatest technology. User-owned devices are typically upgraded more frequent than corporate hardware refreshes. Users who furnish their own shiny, new devices for work are more likely to pick up devices with cutting-edge security enhancements, like biometrics.

Not convinced? Think of it this way—as organisations continue moving toward user-owned devices, supporting applications and infrastructure evolve, as well. In many instances, this takes the form of posturing supporting infrastructure toward a mobile strategy (i.e., cloud computing). When this happens, security of user devices can safely focus on user policy and locking down connections rather than the hardware itself. You can even print securely from your own device!

Separate fact from fiction

You may have noticed a somewhat controversial pro included on the previously mentioned list—you know, the one about increased productivity. Well, it turns out that may not be a myth after all. A Technology Innovation Management Review case study found BYOD-friendly companies in healthcare can experience mind-boggling increases in productivity.

Furthermore, companies where employees aren’t necessarily tied to a desk while working can achieve significant productivity increases when using their own mobile devices. The case study also showed users in BYOD environments better leveraged real-time data from cloud applications. The productivity benefits of BYOD can mean big things for organisations looking to innovate and disrupt, where every second matters.

BYOD will likely find its way into your organisation sooner rather than later. Fortunately, some of your greatest concerns about this trend—mostly security—have an optimistic outlook over that same period. With a well-constructed BYOD policy and supporting cloud infrastructure, there’s just no reason to fear this evolution of IT.

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