#BYOD is Trending: It’s Time to Embrace the Revolution

Picture of Rick DelgadoRick Delgado feels blessed to have had a successful career in the tech industry and has recently taken a step back to pursue his passion of writing. He's started doing freelance writing where he occasionally works with tech companies like Dell Computers. He enjoys writing about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.

It’s amazing how many people are infatuated with the need to have the latest and greatest; they’ll do almost anything to get it. They act like Juan Ponce de León searching for the Fountain of Youth. Despite recent technologies, Smartphones and tablets like the Surface Pro 2 have become integral tools in so many cultures. We feel naked and exposed if we don’t have our favourite device with us.

What’s interesting is how these devices, originally made for personal uses, have made their way into the workplace. Their ability to access information on the spot and communicate instantaneously has increased productivity. They’ve become valuable tools in the day-to-day operations of many organisations. But dealing with the rapid influx of all these devices hasn’t been easy. Employees are looking to bring their own devices to work, as opposed to using what their employers provide. To a degree, it makes sense. People are more productive and comfortable using their own machines and no one wants to carry around two phones or laptops.

While many companies are adopting BYOD policies, some remain hesitant due to legitimate concerns around standardisation and data security. Whatever their reasons, they find themselves among the minority fighting a current moving swiftly against them. The widespread usage of these devices, coupled with a very tech savvy younger generation, means the BYOD trend isn’t going to disappear. New college grads and incoming young hires are gadget friendly, and picky when it comes to their devices of choice. Believe it or not, young job seekers even use BYOD in their decision making when picking potential employers. They avoid businesses that don’t allow personal laptops or phones at work. Instead, these young professionals are looking for more progressive, forward-thinking companies, of which BYOD is an indicator.

Today’s companies point to a number of BYOD problems keeping them from change. For example, a lack of standardisation makes system solutions very complicated. It’s difficult to build custom solutions for so many different types of operating systems. In order to compromise, many companies are adding the magic ‘but’ to their BYOD policies. As in, “yes you can bring in your own devices, BUT it has to be on the approved list.”

The other often cited reason for not wanting to get into the BYOD arena is the additional security issues that threaten the business. IT departments can create solutions for their systems and devices, but how can they track every device being brought into the office? Even further, they don’t know how employees are using these devices. Sure they may be following correct security protocol at work, but what happens when they go home? Home usage and less secure browsing habits could seriously jeopardise important company data stored on these devices. Attackers aren’t going to say, oh wait, this isn’t fair. We can’t touch work data while he or she is at home searching for YouTube videos. Or what happens if a device is lost? A lot of companies use remote-wipe capabilities, but how does that work with devices that also contain personal information? And with today’s tech oriented criminals, will a remote wipe really protect the information?

Developers are reacting to the bumps in the road and creating devices more attractive to employers. New Windows based phones are looking to build more enterprise features in their operating systems in order to make their devices a corporate standard. The reality is, BYOD is here. It’s a thing. Companies might resist, but in the end, they’ll eventually bend to the times. They’d be better off innovating now and finding ways to overcome the challenges and offer employees the freedom and flexibility that is so sought after.

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