How to tackle the challenges of bring your own device

Tim Skinner

Q How has “bring your own device” (BYOD) helped companies and their employees?

A BYOD is helping companies attract the talent they need to prosper. Increasingly, graduates and early career individuals will select a company based on its flexible working arrangements and the freedom to connect to work away from the traditional office environment. Organisations that allow employees to use their own tablet or phone for working remotely will not only attract new and diverse talent, but also benefit from less space, more cloud usage, and consequently reduced costs.

BYOD and remote working strategies also give employees a greater sense of freedom. This can result in employees becoming more engaged with their work, and may have a positive effect on staff retention. Therefore, not only can an increasingly remote network give businesses a competitive edge, but workers can feel more emotionally connected with what they do – which has to be a positive thing.

Q What are the security implications of BYOD and how can they be resolved?

A Opinion over the the effect that BYOD and remote working have on security is somewhat polarised. Many believe that distributed working poses a clear and present danger to data protection. However, many also argue that if the correct procedures and processes are implemented, corporate security can actually be stronger in a remote working environment. What’s certain is that in order to fully utilise the benefits of collaboration, businesses must be prepared to properly manage their data security in the future, and employees need to take responsibility for adhering to procedures and policies.

Q What are the potential risks to flexible working?

A Despite the immediate and tangible benefits, there are some risks. Businesses must overcome the IT complexity that comes with remote and flexible working. Having a distributed working environment can result in control becoming decentralised. As a consequence, the task of managing this sort of IT network, and implementing the necessary governance and controls, intensifies.

Q Do you see the flexible working phenomenon progressing further in the future?

A Absolutely. Technology’s main virtue is its ability to create freedom in the workplace, break down internal barriers and allow businesses to cooperate effectively and efficiently. Organisations are now conducting their business based on their best skills and resources, regardless of where they are. Rather than this being a long-term vision, this is happening now and will dramatically increase over the next two to three years.