May 23rd, 2013
It has become apparent in recent years that bring your own device (BYOD) is the future of mobile in the workplace. BYOD simply confers too many benefits and is too popular among workers for anyone to realistically expect it will go away in favor of a return to corporate-issued devices. As employees, particularly younger workers, increasingly come to expect BYOD to be the de facto standard, those businesses that resist the trend will likely experience difficulties attracting and retaining talented employees.
Consequently, it is incumbent upon companies to develop and implement policy guidelines concerning the use of BYOD within their organizations. Many firms have already taken this step. However, there is a potential danger here which must be acknowledged, and that is the possibility that a BYOD policy becomes outdated.
Obviously, technologies are constantly evolving, to the point where it can become difficult for firms to keep pace. This is particularly true in the BYOD arena. Not only is the technology changing as new smartphones, tablets, apps and data sharing programs emerge, but so are the ways in which employees use their mobile devices. When BYOD first began to gain prominence, an employee would perhaps respond to work emails at home or while traveling. Now, workers leveraging BYOD will perform many of their basic job functions via their personal devices.
These changing activities bring with them new challenges that BYOD policies must address. If a firm has not updated its policies, however, then the measures in place may not be adequate. Is there a company-wide mandated secure file sharing program in place? Is there a policy for users with multiple mobile devices used for varying purposes?
Only by regularly returning to and revising BYOD policies can a company ensure its data remains safe as BYOD continues to evolve and expand.