The corporate world is a volatile place that has seen several dynamic trends come and go. However, there are some trends that create a long-lasting impact, enough to shake things up and change the way legacy methods work. BYOD management is one such millennial trend that was born in the early 2000s and is yet largely adopted. According to an article, 75% of the employees use their personal cell phones for work.
BYOD management goes hand in hand with enterprise mobility, a corporate trend that has lately been on the rise. Allowing employees to use their personal devices for work combined with workplace flexibility is the current-day formula to obtain improved productivity. A concept that was earlier considered a taboo, is now growing increasingly popular amongst businesses. According to another article, 87% of businesses are dependent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphone.
Benefits of Adopting BYOD
The BYOD trend exploded in the corporate world once its benefits were known to the businesses and to the employees. Using personal devices for work instead of company-issued devices has several benefits.
One of the greatest benefits of BYOD for businesses is the reduced cost of purchasing a large fleet of devices for their workforce. Businesses spend hefty amounts of money on purchasing digital devices for their employees, and the company’s IT teams spend most of their time monitoring and maintaining them. Enterprises save money not only on the direct purchase of the devices but also on several hidden costs associated with the devices, such as routine maintenance, periodic OS upgrades, issue fixes, etc.
Besides the monetary factor, the BYOD environment has proven to enhance employee productivity by manifolds. Businesses also save the efforts spent on otherwise training their non-tech-savvy employees to use their company-owned digital devices for versatile operations. Employees do not require much IT support when using their own smartphones or laptops, saving IT time and effort.
The ability to use their personal devices for work surely seemed more appealing to the employees considering the option they received to work on their familiar and favourite devices. With BYOD, employees no longer have to limit themselves to the OS and device types that their companies provide. They can purchase the latest devices with their preferred OS for their work.
Since the employees use their own devices for work, there are lesser chances of running into device errors. Even if the employees do face some minor device issues, they almost always know how to fix them themselves. This eliminates the need to contact the IT teams, explain the device issues, time spent on issue resolution, etc.
Besides, it also enables greater workplace flexibility for employees, since they can access their corporate files, networks and resources from their own smartphones or laptops even beyond office spaces.
Resistance to BYOD by Employees
The decision to adopt a BYOD work environment is not a simple one. Businesses have to factor in several security aspects before they allow their employees to use their personal smartphones and laptops for work. To ensure a secure BYOD work environment, businesses need to intervene and control their employees’ personal devices to some extent. This is a major factor that leads to resistance to BYOD by the employees.
1. Corporate restrictions on personal devices
One of the greatest drawbacks of BYOD, and also the very factor that causes most employees to resist BYOD is the control that their company wishes to take over their devices. Having corporate data and resources stored on their personal devices means that employees have to abide by several rules and restrictions laid down by their organization regarding the usage of their own devices.
In today’s mobile-first world, every person is very attached to their mobile devices, asking them to let go of that liberty in order to protect corporate assets is just not convincing enough.
2. Threat to employees’ privacy
Whatever restrictions are configured on the employees’ mobile devices, are also applied by default to their personal data and private folders. Most businesses hold their corporate data in the highest regard and in case of device loss or theft, prefer that the data on their lost or stolen devices be immediately wiped off. In a BYOD environment, this decision leads to not only the corporate data but the employees’ personal data too being wiped off.
Anything that seems too good to be true often isn’t. The BYOD environment offers businesses several benefits, but also some major challenges. Expecting employees to bear with a plethora of corporate restrictions on their own devices, keeping their private data at stake and allowing the company’s IT admins to toggle with their smartphone’s settings is not a fair solution.
Containerization: The BYOD Game Changer
The simple solution to the biggest BYOD challenge is to strike a balance between what the employers and what the employees want. While the employers want controlled and monitored access to their corporate resources, the employees want their personal devices to be restriction-free. Containerization emerged as the winning strategy.
1. What is Containerization?
Containerization is the creation of a separate isolated container on the user’s personal device. This container is fully packed with corporate components including applications, libraries, frameworks and all other dependencies. Such a container allows the enterprises to target simply the work container present on the employees’ personal devices for corporate policy applications and does not affect the functionality of the entire mobile device.
2. Advantages of Containerization
Containerization has proven to be the missing piece of the BYOD puzzle. It presented several advantages as mentioned below for both the employers and the employees.
- Ability to share the host OS leading to simplified deployment.
- Reduced overhead costs, faster boot times and better performance compared to virtual machines.
- The settings and configurations pushed on the container do not affect the rest of the device’s functionality.
- Each container is independent. The failure of one container does not affect the performance of the others.
- Automated rollouts and rollbacks can be made possible on the containers.
- Containers are not host-dependent and can be run across any platform or cloud.
- A container environment allows easy modifications in terms of new features and updates without impacting the original applications.
Scalefusion for BYOD Management
Scalefusion MDM offers extensive features for device and endpoint management. It is a platform designed to help IT admins of diverse businesses simplify their enterprise mobility and all other trends related to remote management of devices, including BYOD.
Your organization’s IT admins can create separate work containers on the employees’ personal devices and push a plethora of security settings that make BYOD management a breeze.
- Data encryption: Encrypting the sensitive data stored within the work container with data encryption tools such as BitLocker for Windows devices and FileVault for macOS devices.
- Disabling information copy: Blocking the ability to copy data from the work apps and to the private apps. This is especially important to prevent accidental mixing of the user’s personal and corporate information.
- Remote data wipe: Wiping off the corporate data within the work container in case the user reports his/her device to be stolen or lost. This, however, has no effect on the user’s personal data.
- Network settings: Configuring VPN and firewall settings to ensure a safe and encrypted connection to the corporate network and steer clear of lurking malware.
- Browser restrictions: Preventing accidental malware infiltration by allowing only specific websites to be accessed within the work container, or blocking specific suspicious websites.
- Passcode policies: When it comes to password-protecting personal devices, people generally use feeble passwords which can be easily deciphered, or worse, some don’t keep a password at all. Scalefusion lets your organization push strong Passcode Policies on your employees’ devices, that enforce the creation of strong passwords and timely renewals.
The BYOD trend is here to stay. Businesses can make the most of the BYOD work environment by mitigating roadblocks to efficient BYOD adoption. Modern-day MDM solutions like Scalefusion pay great emphasis to upcoming trends like BYOD and provide extensive features to secure the data and protect the privacy of both the employees and the businesses.