The concept of using personal devices for work has become increasingly common over the past decade. Employees use personal laptops to do a bit of work during the evening, and then grab their cell phone to check emails Saturday afternoon. IT Managers are left to ponder the implications of using these devices and their effect on budget, security, and efficiency.
Below, we discuss the two main points of view when it comes to a business’s mobile management strategy: bring your own device and choose your own device. We’ll outline the benefits and drawbacks of each, and provide easy ways for you to manage these devices.
The Rise of Bring Your Own Device
Initially, work and personal technology were separated. Work computers were immobile, and only a handful of executives had pagers or crude mobile phones. As consumer technology became more powerful and widespread, however, things changed. Employees had access to laptops, tablets and mobile phones that were just as functional as anything they used at work. Eventually, they began using these devices to work after hours or check their email. It wasn’t soon after that that they began clamoring to use the devices in the office.
For employees, BYOD makes a lot of sense. The devices they own are the devices they know and use all the time. They’re more comfortable using them than they would be with a random device handed to them by IT. When they’re at home or on the road, they’ll have access to both their work and personal files. It provides a great deal of convenience and allows them to maximize their efficiency.
For your business, however, BYOD offers some important security concerns. The more integrated BYOD becomes, the less control you have over the technology being used. When you issue technology you’re able to control what’s installed and exactly how it’s used. You’ll be able to install all the necessary security safeguards. You’ll also be able to control which information is extracted from the device.
These concerns have led to the advent of a new school of thought: choose your own device.
A New Solution: Choose Your Own Device
Choose your own device is a strong middle ground for IT departments that want their users to be comfortable with their technology without sacrificing security concerns. CYOD is a program where IT creates a list of acceptable devices and allows employees to select from them. These devices are then issued to the employees for work and personal use, and loaded with the necessary programs and security safeguards. Users are given only limited administrative access in order to allow the company to maintain control over their devices.
Employees like CYOD since it gives them the opportunity to work with technology they’re comfortable with. They also enjoy the perk of having a company-purchased device they can use in their free time. Employers tend to be happy with CYOD as it boosts efficiency and flexibility while allowing them to maintain control.
Considering BYOD vs CYOD
It’s important to think carefully before you implement BYOD or CYOD in your work environment. Each method has benefits that you need to carefully weigh against security concerns.
BYOD is a much more cost-effective solution, as you don’t have to provide the hardware for your employees. The employees are able to work from home just as effectively as they do in the office. Security is minimal, however, and it’s easy for the employee or a hacker to steal company information for their own use.
CYOD offers similar benefits, but it is a more expensive and time-consuming solution. Your IT department has to manage a wide variety of devices and purchase expensive devices for each employee. Security concerns are alleviated a bit by the control you’re afforded, but it’s still easy for employees to make off with sensitive company information.
No matter which solution you choose for your business, it’s important to invest in Mobile Device Management services. This makes managing a fleet of different mobile devices much simpler, giving you more control and better mobile security. For example, if a device is lost or stolen, you can easily lock or wipe it remotely. Access to these devices can be strictly enforced and encrypted. If you’re paying for data plans, you can even monitor the usage.
If you’re interested in Mobile Device Management services, make sure to reach out to us here at Envision Consulting today!