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what is bring your own device?

What Is BYOD?

There are countless personal devices available on the market today. Many people use them for either personal projects, professional tasks, or recreational activities. This overlap has led some companies to assess the value of personal devices in the workplace. Bring your own device (BYOD) policies are becoming popular across a wide variety of industries, and for good reason. Let’s take a moment to explore what BYOD is, why it matters, and if it’s worth considering for your business.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Personal devices are taking the world by storm. The current number of different tablets, smartphones, and laptop PCs is simply staggering compared to a decade ago. In fact, well over 6 billion people use smartphones today, and this figure is expected to grow to nearly 8 billion in a few short years.

Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to a trend of employees using personal devices to access work-related data, systems, and networks. Advocates boast that BYOD is practical and provides clear benefits for both employers and employees. However, critics claim that it introduces additional overhead, compliance concerns, and security risks. Both sides have valid points, which is what often makes this subject so contentious.

The most common concern with BYOD tends to be its impact on company risk, compliance, and governance controls. For instance, lost or stolen personal devices are rarely recovered, and employee turnover can create compliance issues. It can also be tough to monitor only work-related data on personal devices, and some BYOD programs fail due to overly restrictive policies.

For BYOD to be successful, companies must be able to implement effective security measures and compliance policies. Malware prevention software, data wipe and backup procedures, identity access management solutions, device usage controls, and data encryption are all top priorities. With the right systems in place, BYOD offers companies and their employees significant opportunities for growth.

BYOD and mobile device management (MDM) have taken off. MDM’s global market size has grown from under $95 billion in 2014 to nearly $400 billion in 2022. This is likely due to more affordable devices, a greater emphasis on remote work, and increasing smartphone penetration. The prevalence of user-friendly mobile and web-based applications, as well as high-speed mobile internet also contributed to this explosive growth.

Benefits of BYOD Policies

This trend isn’t emerging on accident. Companies stand to gain a lot from BYOD, and employees often respond positively to the opportunity. The prospect of working from anywhere at any time using familiar devices provides some noteworthy advantages.

The convenience of BYOD can have a major impact on employee morale. Companies that allow their teams to use personal devices show that they care about job satisfaction. Research suggests that most employees prefer to choose their work device, and they’re even willing to take a pay cut if allowed to do so. This is encouraging in an environment of high turnover and increasing employee resignation.

BYOD policies may also boost productivity. One recent report published by Samsung found that 500 U.S. managers and executives gained an average of 58 minutes of worktime each day as a result of using smartphones. This translated to an estimated productivity increase of about 34%. Larger enterprises gained slightly more time, and mid-sized organizations saw greater productivity increases. Respondents also noted improvements in collaboration, quality of work, speed of innovation, and work-life balance. 

These productivity increases quickly add up over time. Cisco conducted a similar study in other countries and found that basic BYOD generates about $350 of value per employee per year. More comprehensive policies can even produce upwards of $1300 annually per mobile user. This data suggests a strong financial incentive for companies across all scales and industries to adopt strategic BYOD policies.

To BYOD or Not to BYOD

Debates over the pros and cons of BYOD policies have become common in recent years. However, with professional mobile device management solutions, companies can rest assured that teams who use personal devices at work are properly protected. Those that proactively adopt this trend may benefit from improved employee satisfaction, productivity, and long-term value. If you’re interested in taking advantage of BYOD for your company, then we hope you’ll contact us for more information. We can help you implement the right security policies to secure your sensitive data and mobile devices today.

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