22 Jan BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. What EVERY Small Business needs to know!
BYOD. What does it mean?
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. Bring Your Own Device is simply a name for something that is happening in almost every small and large business throughout the world. Here at SOS Support, your IT Support in Salt Lake City, UT, we use our smartphones and tablets daily as part of our work, and we know we aren’t the only ones.
With the incredible increase in the amount of smartphones and tablets in the last couple years, more and more of us are bringing our personal devices to work and using them for work related tasks.
The technology in these devices make them extremely useful in the work environment. These devices bring an efficiency and convenience that can’t be beat.
So what’s the problem???
Well, I’m not quite sure where to start!
In no way are we saying that BYOD is bad, but it is critical that security issues, among other things, are addressed.
This is the primary concern with BYOD because it is obviously the most important. Your business data is precious, and shouldn’t be floating around the internet for anyone to see. One big problem with something such as a smartphone or tablet being used at work is that those same devices are often carried around with employees all day after they leave the workplace. Often times, employees store private work info on their devices, and just a couple hours later they could be at a local coffee shop, connected to an open WiFi connection with no security at all. This is a situation in which your important business data could be very vulnerable.
The above scenario is just one of many possibilities when it comes to security concerns.
One big issue with these devices is that we simply don’t know as much about them as we do with computers. It is much harder to set up an effective anti-virus and firewall on a phone than it is to do so on a stable server and computers in an office.
One other issue is how small and accessible these devices are. We carry them around with us just about everywhere, and we also leave them sitting all over the place. Because of this, these devices can be easily lost or stolen, and when they are, the data that is on them can be easily retrieved. It’s not quite as easy to break into an office and steal an entire server or workstation!
In the case of a smartphone (with important data on it) being stolen, it is very important that the phone can be remotely accessed by the business itself, or their IT guys, so that the memory can be wiped clean, making sure that no data falls into the wrong hands.
One of the other concerns when it comes to all of these devices is how to support them all. Bringing the devices to work and actually productively using them are two very different things.
First off, such a big increase in devices equates to a huge increase in your WiFi usage. Is your router and network setup prepared to handle that? In many cases, more effective network management will be necessary.
Second, such a huge variety in devices can also mean a big variety in operating systems. With basic computers bought by your small business, you can keep everything uniform (100% Windows or 100% Apple, etc) , but with everyone buying their own devices, many other operating systems could come into play. Some operating systems use different file types and run different programs/applications, which could cause confusion if you aren’t aware and prepared.
The last point we want to go over is how to make these devices actually benefit your employees’ productivity.
Many small businesses are using 3rd party applications that can be downloaded to each persons device that can greatly improve productivity. These applications enable someone to do specific work related tasks on their own devices. When used properly, these apps have been shown to increase productivity of these devices at work by up to 45%. Depending on what you do at your small business, one of these applications could be very beneficial to your business. SOS Support can help you research options and know what is best for you.
One problem that could also arise is how these devices are being used. Employee’s must always remember that a smartphone at work should be used differently than a smartphone at home. With the increased usage of these devices at work, it is easy for employees to use them for non-work related tasks such as texting, Facebook, games, and so on. On workstation computers, these types of things can be monitored, but on personal devices it’s not nearly as simple. Because of this it is vital to talk to your employees and put into place policies about the use of personal devices at work. Many businesses are also choosing to hold meetings in order to educate their employees on how their personal devices can be used most productively at work.
WHAT TO DO –
BYOD is still new, but it is happening incredibly fast! It is inevitable that personal devices are part of your small business now, or will be in the near future, so it is vital to prepare now rather than wait until problems arise.
SOS Support, your IT support and security specialists, is currently working hard to find the latest and best ways to work with all the new devices coming into your office. We will be more than happy to work with your small business to make sure you are prepared for every aspect of the latest changes in technology for your small business.