Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Advantages and Disadvantages

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Advantages and Disadvantages

Today, it’s almost impossible for any company not to use any mobile device for work purposes. These mobile devices can either be company-owned or employee-owned. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a practice that allows employees to bring their personal devices to the workplace. Personal devices include smartphones, tablets, laptops, personal computers, and USB drives. Companies use a BYOD policy when employees use personal devices for work-related purposes. Employees can either solely use personal devices or use them alongside corporate-assigned devices.

BYOD: An Overview

The concept of BYOD was first introduced in 2009 but didn’t become mainstream until 2010. BYOD came to light when employees started getting personal devices to the workplace more often, with an increase in the adoption of mobile devices. People find comfort in using their own devices, even for corporate use. There’s been a rise in the use of smartphones and tablets at the workplace, with the IT department allowing employees to bring their own devices to work. Earlier, no support to protect corporate information was provided, and as a result, safeguarding corporate data became a major challenge that companies realized in the following years.

Initially, some companies tried to address the situation by blocking personal devices from their networks and mail servers. Eventually, they realized that BYOD management couldn’t be ignored and that it had to stay for the flexibility it offered. As technology keeps updating, the type and number of mobile devices will increase, and hence, the relevance of BYOD in the corporate world will also continue to grow.

Companies understood that having a BYOD policy is indispensable, and the first BYOD program was developed in 2011. Later, companies came across data leaks and security breaches in 2012. Around this time, businesses began to focus on data security and privacy compliance and started communicating BYOD policies to their users. This has led to higher demand for mobile device management (MDM) solutions. MDM solutions with a BYOD policy offer containerization, in which work and personal data are arranged in separate containers, and companies have access only to the work profile on devices.

Data shows that the market for BYOD MDM containerization was USD 94.15 billion in 2014. Since then, BYOD adoption has grown as more jobs are being created where the idea is applicable. According to recent research, it’s predicted that the BYOD market will be worth USD 587.3 billion by 2030.

Benefits of BYOD

Improves employee effectiveness

BYOD allows employees to use personal devices they’re comfortable with to work from anywhere, giving them the flexibility to access work-related files at any time. Additionally, employees can have access to work apps and data, which adds to job satisfaction and keeps them motivated. Containerization allows them to have everything in one place but separated. It drives engagement, leading to higher employee efficiency.

Increases flexibility and productivity

MDM containerization provides employees with the flexibility to use their own devices they’re already familiar with and know how they can use them to the best of their benefit. In general, employees don’t find it comfortable to use devices that don’t belong to them, and this affects their productivity. BYOD gives employees that comfort and also channels the corporate data to give access to information anytime.

Cuts IT costs

BYOD reduces hardware, support, and training costs. Companies no longer need to buy devices, train employees to use them, and provide support in the case of device issues. Any kind of device repair costs aren’t borne by the company. The device owner is also responsible for safeguarding the device with antivirus and anti-malware protection.

Reduces load on support teams

In BYOD, the responsibility of the device shifts from the employer to the user. Employees become responsible for the proper functioning of their devices so that it doesn’t hamper work. Support teams can also silently push app updates or content to devices to keep employees updated. App updates can also be automated using MDM solutions. BYOD with MDM containerization reduces IT load by letting them work on more important tasks.

Greater choice of device type

Organizations usually buy devices that aren’t very expensive and that they can buy in bulk. For example, most organizations prefer desktops over laptops and cheaper versions of mobile phones instead of the latest ones to save costs. This hampers employee flexibility and affects work output and job satisfaction. MDM containerization allows employees to use their favorite devices while giving them access to work applications all the time.

Cut down on device management costs

Using MDM solutions is the easiest and most cost-effective way to have a BYOD policy. Having said that, Scalefusion MDM provides some of the most affordable and flexible pricing plans that organizations can choose from based on feature requirements. Additionally, a transparent pricing policy helps in cutting down device management costs to some extent.

Disadvantages of BYOD

Device and data vulnerability

BYOD allows employees to view critical business data and applications on their personal devices. The data security provided on the work container side is partial control over the device, unlike a corporate device that provides full control. Companies have to leave some control to users and consider that employees would make appropriate use of the information.

Security risks

BYOD provides access to corporate information from personal devices and, hence, creates security risks in the form of data theft, data loss, misuse of sensitive information, and malware attacks. Employees accessing unauthorized Wi-Fi outside work hours risk company data being exposed. Additionally, if users don’t take care of ensuring up-to-date antivirus on the device, it’s highly susceptible to malware infiltration.

Data retrieval

BYOD provides access to company data that needs to be safe. Though companies take all precautions, there can be a loss of information when a device is lost or stolen. With Scalefusion MDM, devices can be locked remotely to safeguard data. Also, when employees leave the organization, it’s necessary to remove all corporate data from their personal devices, and the remote wipe feature of Scalefusion works best.

Lack of consistency

Employees get different devices with different OS versions and different software capabilities. Every device doesn’t perform at the same level, which adds to inconsistencies in employee performance. Devices operate on different operating systems with different levels of ease of use. All these difficulties can be effectively addressed using an MDM solution like Scalefusion.

Need for Mobile Device Management (MDM)

BYOD policy can be applied to devices using a mobile device management (MDM) solution. The MDM separates apps and data into personal and work folders and creates two separate profiles through containerization. MDM containerization allows organizations to encrypt data on the work side without interfering with personal apps.

Scalefusion MDM for BYOD allows organizations with the convenience to become more employee-friendly. Scalefusion MDM containerization is the best way to have the right blend between maintaining employee privacy and not risking corporate data security.

Some benefits of using Scalefusion MDM for BYOD containerization are-

  1. Reduced IT hardware and support costs
  2. Easy navigation of the dashboard
  3. Remote access to the work container for updates, troubleshooting, or wiping data
  4. Budget-friendly plans to choose from
  5. Support for devices operating on Android, Windows, iOS, and macOS
  6. 24X6 support

Closing Lines

It’s clear that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages of BYOD, and having a BYOD policy is beneficial for companies and employees. Nevertheless, it’s important to understand the potential risks and have a policy beforehand, define user expectations, and spread data security awareness. Keeping employees updated about BYOD MDM containerization guarantees a successful implementation of the BYOD policy. 

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