Challenges and opportunities of BYOD in 2019

According to reports[1], more and more businesses are embracing (Bring Your Own Device) BYOD initiatives. In fact, in 2018, 85% of organisations embraced BYOD in some capacity.

But, if you are considering introducing BYOD into your organisation, what are the challenges and opportunities you will face in 2019?

The challenges of BYOD

Security

There is no doubt that security is one of the biggest barriers to BYOD adoption. And fears are not unfounded as security experts have revealed that that the number of threats to mobile devices has increased. Data leaks, lost devices, unauthorised access and a lack of monitoring all need to be taken into consideration and planned for.

However, it is possible to implement tools and practices to protect data on personal devices. Things like Two Factor Authentication (2FA), adequate password controls, and the ability to remove sensitive data from devices remotely can help to reduce the risk and allow mobile workers to use their devices securely.

Device compatibility

 When using personal devices in a professional capacity there are some applications that every employee needs. But using these on personally-owned devices can slow them down. Not only does this lead to increased levels of employee frustration, but it can also make them refuse to use their own devices.

To manage this, you will need to be capable of responding to IT requests across a range of devices and operating systems, and schedule regular updates and maintenance for these.

One way of making this process simpler is to adopt an alternative ownership model which gives your employees a choice of pre-approved devices that can be controlled by your company.

Legal issues

Since the introduction of the GDPR, data protection is more critical than ever. But the blurring of personal and private information on employee-owned devices can make this tricky.

To ensure compliance, you must establish a BYOD policy which establishes what devices and applications are allowed to access your network, where, when and how it can be accessed, and any penalties for breaching the policy. Legal advice is recommended when establishing your BYOD policy. This will help you to balance employee rights and security risks.

An answer to these challenges

One way to reduce the hassle when it comes to implementing a BYOD initiative is to combine it with the hosted desktop. With this approach, all the business applications, data and documents you need are installed on a cloud-hosted server in a carefully controlled UK data centre. So they never sit on any individual user’s device.

So, you retain the ability to manage all your devices remotely and centrally. Crucially, this means that you can wipe devices of data if required (for example if an employee leaves or a laptop is stolen or lost).

With the hosted desktop you can also stop unauthorised users from accessing sensitive business or personal information, and ensure that only authorised employees can access the data and services they need.

At the same time, with a cloud-based hosted desktop all your information is automatically backed up. So if you do lose a device, the data is still available.

Also, with a managed hosted desktop, you can control how your data is accessed and used. And, protecting your employee’s privacy, you can also put steps in place that prevents access to their personal information, data and applications.

The opportunities of BYOD

Employee demand for BYOD is increasing. Today’s employees don’t want to struggle with outdated and unfamiliar tech. Instead, they want to use the same high-quality tools and practices they do in their personal time. So simply ignoring this trend isn’t an answer.

But more than that, when implemented correctly, BYOD also offers a range of compelling opportunities.

For example, buying and maintaining business devices can be expensive. But, with BYOD much of that cost can be passed to your employees. What’s more, if you want to facilitate more mobile working practices (and in 2019 this is something you should be considering), BYOD can provide your staff with everything they need to do their jobs, no matter where they are (especially when combined with the hosted desktop).

BYOD has also been proven to improve productivity with 36% of BYOD users classed as “hyperproductive”; saving at least two hours per week[2].

Find out more about how our cloud-hosted desktops can support your BYOD policy.

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[1] Bitglass 2018 BYOD Security Report

[2] Cisco