Bring your own device
Bring your own device (BYOD)—also called bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP), and bring your own PC (BYOPC)—refers to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace, and to use those devices to access privileged company information and applications. The term is also used to describe the same practice applied to students using personally owned devices in education settings.
BYOD is making significant inroads in the business world, with about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets already using their own technology at work. In most cases, businesses simply can't block the trend. Some[who?] believe that BYOD may help employees be more productive. Others[who?] say it increases employee morale and convenience by using their own devices and makes the company look like a flexible and attractive employer. Many[who?] feel that BYOD can even be a means to attract new hires, pointing to a survey that indicates 44% of job seekers view an organization more positively if it supports their device.
The term BYOD was mentioned in a paper by Ballagas et al., at UBICOMP 2005. BYOD first entered in 2009, courtesy of Intel when it recognized an increasing tendency among its employees to bring their own devices to work and connect them to the corporate network. However, it took until early 2011 before the term achieved any real prominence when IT services provider Unisys and software vendors VMware and Citrix Systems started to share their perceptions of this emergent trend. BYOD has been characterized as a feature of the "consumer enterprise" in which enterprises blend with consumers.
In 2012, the U.S.A Equal Employment Opportunity Commission adopted a BYOD policy, but many employees continued to use their government-issued BlackBerrys because of concerns about billing, and the lack of alternative devices.
The proliferation of devices such as tablets and smartphones, which are now used by many people in their daily lives, has led to a number of companies allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, due to perceived productivity gains and cost savings. The idea was initially rejected due to security concerns but more and more companies are now looking to incorporate BYOD policies, with 95% of respondents to a BYOD survey saying they either already supported BYOD or were at least considering supporting it.
BYOD security relates strongly to the end node problem, wherein a device is used to access both sensitive and risky networks/services. Because of Internet-based risks, some very risk-averse organizations issue devices specifically for Internet use (this is termed Inverse-BYOD).
BYOD has resulted in data breaches. For example, if an employee uses a smartphone to access the company network and then loses that phone, untrusted parties could retrieve any unsecured data on the phone. Another type of security breach occurs when an employee leaves the company, they do not have to give back the device, so company applications and other data may still be present on their device.
A key issue of BYOD which is often overlooked is BYOD's phone number problem, which raises the question of the ownership of the phone number. The issue becomes apparent when employees in sales or other customer-facing roles leave the company and take their phone number with them. Customers calling the number will then potentially be calling competitors which can lead to loss of business for BYOD enterprises.
International research reveals that only 20% of employees have signed a BYOD policy.
If sensitive, classified, or criminal data lands on a U.S. government employee's device, the device is subject to confiscation.
A challenging but important task for companies who utilize BYOD is to develop a policy that defines exactly what sensitive company information needs to be protected and which employees should have access to this information, and then to educate all employees on this policy.
Another important issue with BYOD is of scalability and capability. Many organisations today lack proper network infrastructure to handle the large traffic which will be generated when employees will start using different devices at the same time.Nowadays, employees use mobile devices as their primary devices and they demand performance which they are accustomed to. Earlier smartphones did not use a lot of data and it was easy for Wireless LAN to handle that amount of data, but today smartphones can access webpages as quickly as most PCs do and have applications that use radio and voice at high bandwidths, hence increasing demand from WLAN infrastructure.
According to research by Logicalis, high-growth markets (including Brazil, Russia, India, UAE, and Malaysia) demonstrate a much higher propensity to use their own device at work. Almost 75% of users in these countries did so, compared to 44% in the more mature developed markets.
Many industries are adopting BYOD quicker than others. A recent study by Cisco partners of BYOD practices stated that the education industry has the highest percentage of people using BYOD for work at 95.25.
A study by IBM says that 82% of employees think that smartphones play a critical role in business. The study also shows benefits of BYOD include increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and cost savings for the company. Increased productivity comes from a user being more comfortable with their personal device; being an expert user makes navigating the device easier, increasing productivity. Additionally, personal devices are often more cutting edge as company technology refreshes don't happen as often. Employee satisfaction, or job satisfaction, occurs with BYOD by allowing the user to use the device they have selected as their own rather than one selected by the IT team. It also allows them to carry one device as opposed to one for work and one for personal. Cost savings can occur on the company end because they now would not be responsible for furnishing the employee with a device, but is not a guarantee.
A company can also see improved productivity from an employee with BYOD as it allows for the ability to easily take the device home and work.
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