Did you know that, according to Com Score, Americans owned 145 million smartphones as of September 2013, and research firm McKinsey reveals that smartphones and tablets currently make up 44% of global computing time? Employers are well-aware of these figures, and requiring employees to put personal mobile devices to business use is an increasingly popular trend. Why are these models, commonly referred to as bring your own device (BYOD) models, so popular, and how can companies curb the risks associated with them?
Why Adopt a BYOD Business Model?
Fifty percent of businesses using BYOD systems ask employees to provide for all technology costs, and employees are surprisingly willing. Why are BYOD systems beneficial to employees and employers alike?
- Cost savings. First and foremost, businesses are about making money. Companies can ultimately slash costs by implementing BYOD models, and, according to CIO Insight, 47% of businesses cite cost savings as their top reason for using non-traditional systems.
- Employee satisfaction. Employees like working from personal mobile devices, and BYOD employees generally report higher levels of job satisfaction. In fact, 60% find work-related tasks more enjoyable when completing them on a personal smartphone or tablet PC, according to The Evolving Workforce.
- Increased productivity. Moreover, Cisco research reveals that BYOD employees are more productive. When working from their own mobile devices, employees work an average of 37 minutes longer per week.
Is BYOD Safe?
Allowing employees the freedom to work from personal smartphone and tablet PCs, however, comes with a certain amount of risk. Business publication Midsize Insider explains why an alarming number of companies do not fully address BYOD security, “Many firms do not understand the impact of mobility beyond the physical device, and this lack of understanding and visibility causes data to be at risk.” How can companies keep systems safe?
- Mobile device management. Some form of mobile device management, including iPhone security and management, needs to be in place. MDM assesses security risks, monitors data and security systems, and much more.
- Consider security experts. Online and cloud computing data is subject to constant change. Security experts tackle iPhone management by keeping tabs on the latest updates, viruses, malware, and security risks.
- Desktop Interface Management (DMI). DMI will monitor and protect all levels of data from hardware, including desktop and iPhone security, to software (auditing individual programs and mobile applications).
With the right precautions and necessary security, BYOD systems can increase employee satisfaction and productivity while slashing company expenses.