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Thursday, March 7, 2013

The More You Use, The More You Use: BYOD To Multiply And Intensify

The working landscape appears to be as malleable as sand, more so these days than ever before; and as new technologies race toward the integral mechanisms of businesses everywhere with every passing minute, the manner in which we work is fast adapting with it; like water, the method takes the shape of its container. At the forefront of this new technologically-enthused working standard is the BYOD policy.

Bring Your Own...?

If you’re unsure about what BYOD actually is, allow me to explain. BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it is a concept that has exploded into fruition recently in enterprises and businesses the world over. It essentially means employees can utilize personal devices to better carry-out their work, connecting these devices to company systems and accessing company assets through them. Whilst it’s not a new thing, it’s the advent of the smartphone, now a staple of the modern person’s integral pocket contents, that has really caused the policy take off in a manner quite unlike any single internal business ethos before.

So what does this mean for businesses? Essentially, many were quick to jump on the BYOD band wagon, as, in essence, the perception and the results show that it improves productivity. It streamlines an employee’s figurative todo list, and puts everything together in one easily manageable place, allowing him or her to keep abreast of everything that’s happening, in all aspects of his or her work, and cuts out many menial software-opening, computer-booting, logging in, logging out, waste of time tasks that could otherwise be spent being prolific. It makes the employer look flexible and open-walled and increases employee morale.

What’s not to love? Of course, this rise has caused a significant amount of data to be produced on the effects of BYOD across the board; does it really yield all these positive results, are there any negatives and what trends can we see from companies who employ its use most actively?

The Ripple Effect

For a start, the statistic for companies provisioning smartphones has declined 25%, whilst, of course, self-provisioned smartphones have risen, comparatively. The immediate backlash of this is, of course, data usage; and businesses are suddenly finding themselves, doubling and tripling the amount of data they use. Does this align proportionately to the increased productivity that comes as a result?  “Employees are using more data with more devices to work longer hours, anytime and anywhere”:  the sentiments of one Evan Kaplan, the CEO at wireless network solution and mobility services provider iPass, commenting on a recent report they conducted, that provided these figures.

Interestingly though, whilst the use of smartphones in the workplace has increased tenfold, there has been no comparable reduction in the use of other devices. In fact, that number has increased. “While the smartphone is ranked only behind the wallet and keys in importance, it's not displacing mobile workers' reliance on tablets or laptops” Kaplan explained. “In fact, our data indicates that smartphone users also use more data on other devices, revealing an interesting phenomenon -- essentially, the more you use the more you use."

Security Calls

The chief risk that accompanies BYOD is, above all else, the security risk involved with allowing employees to take valuable company data about with them on an easily misplaced device the size of a credit card. Of course, many businesses demand remote wiping and cloud based backup as the definite solution to this problem, and it’s something that, with the right amount of control, could certainly alleviate 90% of the security risk with one simple product.

Essentially, the working landscape will keep changing; but with more devices being used for more and more work-related tasks, a trend that appears to be here for the long haul, the precedence on securing these personal devices and backing up that data should now be more focal than ever. With the right strategy though, businesses could reap all the benefits of increased productivity, remaining safe and becoming a better overall employer in the process. 

This article was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of Backup Systems – whether you’ve brought in the BYOD policy in full, or simply need a way to ensure your integral business files stay safe, Backup Systems can provide! 
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