Are you really ready to embrace BYOD?

Generation Z, the post-Millennials, are always on their smartphones, right? As this generation enters the workplace, they’ll expect to be able to use their own smartphones in their everyday business.

21 March 2017

This follows the increasing trend of businesses expecting to stop providing devices to their employees. In fact, 2013 Gartner predicted that half of employers would stop providing devices to their staff by the end of this year.

Many businesses now allow their employees to bring their own devices to work. This is the widely-discussed policy of "Bring Your Own Device" - or "BYOD" - but the big question is, are businesses really ready to embrace such a fundamental change to their communications infrastructure…and are they really ready to manage the risks?

The thinking is that BYOD drives innovation, employee satisfaction, cost savings, flexibility and more. And this is all true. But, while rolling out applications throughout the workforce on employees' own devices presents new opportunities (beyond traditional mobile email and communications), it also highlights wider issues concerning authentication and security policies. Both aspects are critical to prevent serious violations of personal mobile device use, such as data breaches and the prevalence of malware. Simply put, BYOD means that many businesses will no longer be in sole control of the end user tools that they have traditionally provided to their employees, meaning that the risks of data leakage, viruses, keyboard logging, lost or stolen devices are clear and present dangers.

The good news is, there's an answer. Thanks to solutions like Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS), Mobile Device Management (MDM) and data protection can now be incorporated directly into Office mobile apps, and device management policies can be applied across numerous devices with support for iOS, Android and Windows Operating Systems. This gives staff access to workplace applications, data and resources from almost any device from virtually anywhere, and – critically – it helps to ensure devices are secure & compliant.

Ask yourself just one quick question: if your best Salesperson heads off to join your competition, are you currently able to protect and block the leakage of the confidential data held on their private device? Now think about this in the context of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which mandates stringent data protection rules from May 2018 and will be subject to crippling fines for non-compliance. So ask yourself again…are you 100% certain you’re ready to embrace BYOD?

If you need some help thinking this through, talk to us about Microsoft EMS; a cost-effective response to the challenges of BYOD. Get in touch at enquiries@gcicom.net.

Andy Wild
Cloud Product Manager

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