In a world where users demand instant access to their emails and other applications, it’s now been recorded that over half of emails opened are read on mobile devices.
Since 2009 the number of mobile devices in use has increased by 300%, and some say that from large corporations to smaller organisations BYOD is becoming more popular than supplying users with additional hardware.
According to this 2013 article in Computer Weekly, an effective BYOD – ‘bring your own device’ – strategy can lead to a number of benefits for businesses, including improved employee job satisfaction, increased job efficiency and flexibility. The same publication also claims that BYOD can provide cost savings, from initial device purchase to ongoing usage and IT helpdesk support, as employees invest in their own devices.
Why it’s not all good news
Of course, there has to be a downside to all this. Many organisations have held back from BYOD for very good reasons – they don’t really know what to do about security and data protection.
There are now some very established and mature MDM (mobile device management) solutions on the market. But the problem isn’t with the quality of the tools – it’s about knowing what to do with them. That’s why BYOD policies are so important; you have to write them around your organisations’ needs, and communicate them effectively to your employees and contractors.
In 2015 the annual ClubCISO survey of EMEA information security professionals working in business – quoted by SC Magazine – actually found less confidence in BYOD security strategies than previously. In 2016, a survey of 800 cybersecurity professionals found that nearly three-quarters of them still regarded data leakage/loss as the top BYOD security concern.
So what’s to be done? How do we get BYOD back on track to realise those promised benefits?
The problem is already here
Research has shown that 85% of companies already let their staff bring their own devices.
But how many of these are protecting their sensitive data, and actively combating security threats? What do you do if a member of staff leaves the company? Can you withdraw their access instantly? Are you allowed to simply wipe someone’s personal device? How do you monitor use? And what’s your response strategy if a catastrophic data leak should occur?
There are vendors who might have you believe that they have the magic solution to all this. In reality, as mentioned above, they are just tools for you to use. Plenty of companies have got burned by purchasing software they thought would fix the problem, only to find they’ve still got to address the policy issue. Plenty more have spent money unwisely on a solution and then had to shell out again when things have gone wrong.
And it’s important that security protocols don’t interfere with people being able to do their work and actually be more productive. To take a simple example, while making staff change their passwords every week might be effective in the short term, in the long term it could interfere with their capability to complete tasks while away from the office.
Make informed decisions
It’s clear that the key to realising better profitability with BYOD is about adopting best practices, creating policies that match your organisation, and spending wisely on your MDM technology.
With the right approach you can enable your users to bring their own devices, creating opportunities to work more flexibly. Instant access means they have the ability to solve customer queries at any time, creating a better service and a more successful and profitable business model.
Vohkus’s specialist consultants can help you understand the BYOD landscape and advise on the best approaches for your situation. Let us help you create a BYOD strategy that boosts profitability without compromising efficiency or security.