As its name implies, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a movement driven by workers to utilize their personal devices for dual purpose in the workplace. Propelled by another trend toward increased mobility and supported by the proliferation of affordable smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, BYOD is about convenience. What is convenient for the user, though, is placing many organizations – and their network infrastructures – at risk.
BYOD is not limited to the workplace. Similarly, today’s digital native students are utilizing their personal devices to access education institutions’ network infrastructures for research, online course content, applications, and other learning tools. Just like their business counterparts, many education institutions are placed at risk with BYOD adoption. Specialized services including education technology consulting can help minimize those risks.
The BYOD challenge is rooted in IT’s ability – or rather, inability – to secure devices that it doesn’t own or control. Aside from the resource-intensive provisioning and management of corporate applications across operating systems and an almost endless variety of device types, corporate security, governance, and policy are difficult to enforce – even, for instance, the simple use of screen locks.
The decommissioning of corporate applications on the phones of ex-employees or on lost or stolen devices present unique administration challenges for IT. Casual user behaviors that are more prevalent with personal use, including web browsing, social media, and failure to recognize social engineering scams, can pose significant threat to devices, dangerously exposing critical access to the corporate network.
There are benefits, of course, for organizations to stay on the front edge of today’s rapid change. Worker productivity is one benefit. Personal smartphones and other portable devices usually are in the user’s possession. With corporate email and other business applications readily available, the BYOD user is more responsive – and always connected. Corporate competitiveness is another advantage for organizations that can mobilize their workforce – even if it is accomplished through the use of personal communications devices.
Custom can help you incorporate the advantages of BYOD in your organization or educational institution while minimizing your risk and IT management challenges. Our specialized expertise across a broad range of associated technologies – including networking, application provisioning, mobile security – will enable you to embrace today’s changing technology landscape and the BYOD trend.