BYOD -For Better Business
BYOD -Business Sense
BYOD stands for bring your own device. It is the practice of allowing not just employees but also customers and friends access to home and business Internet services by the use of the friend, employee or customer’s personal device. These devices include smartphones, laptops and tablets. The business or household benefits by being forward thinking in satisfying their friend, employee or customer’s need. If it is the one house or business on the block allowing everybody free Wi-Fi –everybody is turning up for access.
Companies allowing employees to use their own devices -which are oftentimes more technologically advance- save the company from having to purchase expensive smartphones, laptops and tablets for their employees’ use on the job. The employee is happy to use the company’s time for personal matters on his or her personal phone but more importantly the familiarity of one’s own device and satisfaction on the job improves the quality of work. In the article, ‘Business-unit-level relationship between employee satisfaction, employee engagement, and business outcomes: A meta-analysis’ by Harter, James K.; Schmidt, Frank L.; Hayes, Theodore L. in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 87(2), Apr 2002, 268-279 found that employee satisfaction affected the business unit outcomes ‘of customer satisfaction, productivity, profit, employee turnover, and accidents.’
BYOD establishments are customer friendly and the way forward. Customers get this service in supermarkets, hairdressing salons and even tattoo parlors. BYOD services are everywhere.
Once the Internet is available at work an employee automatically will tap into free Wi-Fi services to have access to the Internet and being familiar with their own device will get more quality work done. The employee is better able to build customer relations but this becomes problematic when an employee is dismissed and leaves with customer data on her or his personal device. For companies in this situation it is like losing clients to your competitor.
As there are benefits to everything, there are also disbenefits. There are risks for breaches in network security by anti-malware software accessed by persons visiting unsecure sites. There is the dishonesty of customers, employees and friends seeking to break encryptions and passwords to gain greater access to the company or the individual’s network of private files. Plus there is the foreseeable loss of personal devices by employees, customers and friends with sensitive data. There is the risk of the found device being accessed by unsavory persons by the jail breaking and sandboxing of the smartphone, laptop or tablet.
Companies and private parties need not fear BYOD. They are able to manually add those persons to their network and to not include those are to be denied access to the network. BYOD is the way forward and is here to stay. Businesses that choose to lock customers out the networks exist in the dark days. The commercialization of internet access, especially since the injection of mobile collaborative applications (apps) means there is nothing that can be done to change people’s desire to have the same ease of access at home in the workplace or in the establishments of businesses they choose to serve their interests.
There is an application for everything. Businesses do not need to run from the advancement of technology; they need to integrate technology into their businesses. This means understanding the advantages and disadvantages of employees and customers having access to their network and learning to protect themselves.
How can companies and individuals protect their network and the employees and friends’ personal devices from being corrupted? They can do so with with anti-malware software, encryption codes, passcodes, and by remote wipe of devices that have been lost, stolen, or compromised. There are also software solutions such as Good for Enterprise, Citrix and Cisco BYOD Smart Solution that are designed to protect local networks from breach in security. Companies allowing employees and clients to bring their own devices to access their network can also learn to manually restrict access points and control the data those with access to their networks can see and use.
There is no need for IT departments to panic about the social inclusion of personal devices on the company’s network or home network. As with everything there are problems and solutions. Problems can at times be avoided and will always be surmounted with knowledge.