Can you believe that it’s already the middle of April? 2016 is flying by way too fast for us.
As we approach the middle of the year, we examine some recent developments in the wide world of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and how it will continue to evolve for business (and schools, too!)
What is BYOD?
Born in 2009, BYOD in now in its seventh year. It’s had six years to grow and mature, and now, as it continues to transform from experimental to the absolute norm, it is opening up a host of new opportunities. We explore some of these below.
How has BYOD grown in businesses?
A recent survey from Tech Pro research has found that 74 per cent of organisations are either already using or planning to allow employees to bring their own devices to work.
Look around you – are you at work right now? Probably. And I’m 99 per cent positive your personal smartphone is within arm’s reach. True?
Have you used your mobile phone for work-related tasks today? You might have:
Accessed your work emails on the train on the way in
Called a client explaining that you are running a few minutes late
Checked a competitor’s website on your phone
Read a text from your boss informing you that he or she won’t be in until midday
Published a post to your company’s Facebook page using the smartphone app on your way home
Participated in a video conference when you were out of the office
(And don’t forget, ‘devices’ can also mean tablets and personal laptops.)
How has it grown in schools?
Many schools have integrated a BYOD program, and, depending on the school, these programs are designed for all years or certain years only, like year 11 and 12.
Schools will generally provide the Wi-Fi network to which students can connect their devices, and may also offer basic troubleshooting or IT support. It is therefore the parents’ responsibility to provide their child with a suitable personal device.
Schools have also created guidelines surrounding acceptable (and preferred) devices, student parameters, and an agreement accepted and signed by parents and students.
How will BYOD continue its evolution during 2016?
BYOD growth continues
And, to quote this Tech Republic article, it will become “more of a requirement than a privilege”.
It definitely makes sense:
As business continues to move away from the traditional office environment – that is, working 9-5, five days a week, in the office, at your desk – we’ve relying on technology, in the form of additional devices, to keep us connected to the office, colleagues, and company documents.
Working from home or working remotely isn’t anything unusual, and as a result, we need devices that allow us to maintain productivity even when we’re not chained to our desks. That’s where BYOD slots in so effortlessly.
Employees aren’t keen on two phones
This RCR Wireless News article cites data from a survey that explains how we love our smartphones and many of us feel we couldn’t live without it, but the thought of carrying managing two smartphones is far less appealing.
This shows that employees are reluctant to own both a personal and work phone; power to the people: this reluctance has helped drive BYOD. One device, for work and play.
Security remains as important as ever…
… and so too does your BYOD policy.
Of the few who are resisting BYOD integration, most blame it on one single factor: security.
Just as security hinders cloud adoption for a select few bosses or CEOs, it too hinders BYOD adoption.
Of course we understand how security is paramount for a business of any size, but there are a number of things a business can do to keep their employees’ devices – and company data – safe.
The first? A BYOD policy. This needs to be creatively constructed and critically examined prior to device induction. In fact, the way you create your policy governs every action an employee takes with their personal device.
Management solutions will be consolidated
In the early days of BYOD, management was sporadic, and solutions were constructed and implemented on a kind of ‘case-by-case’ basis as we tried to get used to personal devices in the workplace.
Over the past few years, Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions have become more streamlined; as we’ve become accustomed to BYOD, the solutions we create become applicable to a wide variety of devices across multiple departments.
This year, IT departments and personnel will continue to refine and consolidate MDM solutions.
There's no denying the impact BYOD is having on businesses of all sizes (as well as in education) – and we're all a part of it!