Fiona teakle looks at the growing business practice of brining your desktop
As companies move to a more flexible work environment, one
aspect that has changed dramatically is the idea of being given corporate
devices as you enter the company. Companies are shifting from the traditional
approach of giving you you a laptop/mobile and now expecting you to bring your
own device as you start. So what does this then mean for the company , or for
you as an individual?
In essence, it means that the company needs to be open to
any type of device being attached to its network at some point. People are
starting to use tablets more than laptops to complete their everyday jobs, so
mobile devices need to be properly managed. BYOD is not something that should
be entered into without proper thought and consideration for what you are
If you are willing to implement Bring Your Own Device
(BYOD), then you must be willing to trust that your users are going to do the
right thing. This element of trust needs to be in place for any BYOD
environment to work effectively, or you will end up tightening the security on
the device so much that it will no longer be effectively. If you have hired
that person to keep your business running , you also need to trust that they
will behave in the right manner with their devices.
popularity of the “BYOD” (bring your own device) approach to IT
One of the biggest factors to be considered is security. If
a device is owned by an employee, then you have less control over what that
person does and installs on the device.. This means that there may be potential
for malicious software to enter the environment and cause virus outbreaks. As
we users have become more reliant on IT, we have also for the most part become
less security conscious ; generally speaking , people won’t think about the
impact of installing another application on their phone. If that is the case,
what is the potential impart to your business?
“traditional methods of job seeking aren’t the only way
While security I one aspect to consider, another factor that
should not be overlooked is the legal aspect of BYOD. As the concept of BYOD is
continuing to grow, and is really in its early stages, there are little to no
precedents to go on. This is a risk that both the company and the employee need
to understand before entering in BYOD. The critical aspect is to ensure as a
company you protect against risk to reputation and exercise ‘ Duty of Care’. In
other words, do some research as to where you stand personally if you are an
employee using your device for work or where you stand as a company.
computing solution that's easy to manage
Having said that, you need to be secure without being
overprotective. Employees are likely to be happier if allowed to use the device
they have chosen , as they are likely to be more efficient with that device and
also have it on them 24/7. This provides you with them for more hours of the
day . Having a solid BYOD policy in the place prior to allowing the connection
of devices is critical . This allows the company to clearly set out its expectations
of the device use to the employee. Education is crucial , not only of the
policy, but how to use the device to protect the company and yourself. It is
one thing to have the policy, but how it is enforced is just as important.
Most people have a preference for the type of device they
use – especially when it comes to mobile devices , be it Android , iPhone,
Windows Phone or , for the few , a BlackBerry . So what is this risk of not
allowing users to have the phone they prefer? If you are sticking to a company
– issued device, then you run the risk of disappointing your employee because
of the type of device you are making them use While this gives you greater
control of the device from a security point of view, does it outweigh the
advantages in the option of BYOD?
Bring your own
device (BYOD) programs that allow employees to use their personal iPhones,
iPads, Android devices, or other mobile technologies in the office
The other side of it is this : how can you stop users from
using their own device to access company information , such as email ? Most
email products provide a web link(eg Outlook Web Access to Exchange)
environment; this means that you may not be in a position to prevent a user’s
access from a mobile device now. Is this risk being considered and how can you
mitigate the exposure to the company?
Allowing BYOD requires a level of professionalism within the
company. Membership of the ACS not only show dedication to professionalism, but
means you are expected to follow a code of conduct. This can provide a level of
comfort to management as they deploy a BYOD policy.
On essence you need to ensure that you have thought through
the process of enabling a BYOD model – which includes , cost, security,
legality and support – before jumping in and allowing employees to connect
their device to your environment. If your company hasn’t considered BYOD or
corporate devices then now is the time to start, because chances are they are
accessing your environments whether you approve it or not !!!