In the consumerization of IT, BYOD is a phrase that has become widely adopted to refer to employees who bring their own computing devices – such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs – to the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.
The BYOD phenomenon is reshaping the way IT is purchased, managed, delivered, and secured. And because it’s part of the growing IT consumerization trend, Business leaders can’t ignore it. Nor should they want to. From something as simple as allowing workers to access corporate email on their personal smartphone to a full-blown program in which the company subsidizes the purchase of personal laptops, BYOD has the potential to increase worker productivity, create a more flexible working environment, and even reduce IT costs. But BYOD also brings significant challenges. IT must secure data on devices the company may not own. Help desks may need to support a larger selection of devices and operating systems than they currently do. And you may need to develop new policies and procedures for device procurement and management, application deployment, and data ownership.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the PC revolution freed business computing from the centralized world of the mainframe (and its minicomputer offspring), but companies generally retained tight control over the personal computers their employees could use—especially in the earlier “desktop” part of the PC era. As computers became increasingly affordable, mobile, and connected around the turn of the millennium, more and more people began using home computers to work on after office hours.
From this point, it was almost inevitable that the process called “consumerization of IT,” which includes the BYOD trend, would occur. After all, who wouldn’t prefer to work with a notebook, tablet, or smartphone that they had carefully chosen to fit their own requirements over a device selected according to a set of corporate IT purchasing guidelines?
But consumerization of IT doesn’t just mean bringing your own device to work and using consumer apps and services. BYOD also brings significant challenges and you may need to develop new policies and procedures for device management and data ownership.
To learn more about BYOD and how it affects your company, call XPERTECHS at (410) 884-0225.