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Mobile devices have become an integral part of the everyday work environment. Everywhere you turn, you see someone using a smart phone to read email, find an unfamiliar location or communicate with a colleague. People use tablets and laptops for these tasks, too. Mobile devices can and do increase productivity. Company‐issued mobile devices are tricky enough to manage. When employers start allowing employees to bring their own devices to work, things begin to get even trickier.
For small and medium businesses, the bring your own device (BYOD) trend is readily embraced. Regardless of how affordable mobile devices may be, providing one for each employee still cuts into a business’ bottom line. So, many small‐ and medium‐business owners are loath to provide company‐issued mobile devices.
Some company leaders who lack the budgets necessary to issue smart phones, tablets or other mobile devices might think the best way to go is to not allow the use of mobile devices at all. This can cause problems particularly when it comes to business continuity. If employees can’t access the company’s network or the files they need to complete their daily tasks from anywhere at any time, how will they work when disaster strikes?
The BYOD trend may not be as bad as it seems. True, IT and management must work together to come up with ways to ensure the safety and security of company data while simultaneously ensuring that employees’ personal files aren’t also at risk. As you will see, solutions already exist that can significantly minimize the security risks involved with allowing employees to use their own devices for work and make BYOD a less frightening option.
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