I Always Wanted To Know:
What is BYOD? Why is it becoming more popular in businesses?
You may have heard the expression BYOD or seen it mentioned in a IT policy at your workplace. BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and allows employees to use personal technology, computers and cell phones primarily, as work devices. This is a dramatic departure from old policies which expressly forbid personal computing devices. So why is it being done?
The answer is that it benefits employers and is what employees have been asking for. So let’s talk about the benefits for each group.
BYOD benefits employers by lowering IT costs due to not having to purchase devices for employees to use. Instead companies offer to configure devices to connect to corporate systems either via VPN connections or through passwords to connect to company servers. Since many phones and computers now support encrypted connections, security can be maintained. Companies have found that the use of personal phones and computers can encourage employees to stay in contact and reply quicker to work related items after hours.
BYOD benefits employees by allowing them to carry one device they like, instead of a company-issued device they may not. The trend exploded with the introduction of the iPhone from Apple, which brought droves of people to IT departments asking to use it instead of the then-popular BlackBerry phone. Anyone who has spent a few months carrying two phones and two computers will attest using one device is a significant improvement.
So I can go into my workplace right now and BYOD?
Maybe. This is a policy that is very company- specific, so the only way to know for sure is to ask. Be prepared to be told “no,” as some companies have specific legal or compliance related concerns which prevent or make BYOD less attractive.
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