‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD), a concept adopted by numerous organizations that permits an individual to use personal devices at the workplace. BYOD, earlier known as ‘Bring Your Own Technology’ (BYOT), is receiving plenty of attention over the last few years. With the advent in mobile technology, mobile devices are increasingly gaining popularity in personal lives and in professional lives too. Mobile devices do not only mean mobile phones, it includes tablets, laptops, USB devices, and any other handled devices.

In 2012, a Cisco survey had found that on average, an individual owns 2.8 devices. These are the devices that they purchase for their personal use. The number will grow further with more technological advancement. In addition to these 2.8 devices, if their job adds up extra on to that number, it would reach a remarkable number for an individual to manage devices for their personal and professional work

To lower the burden on the employees, numerous organisation had been joining the BYOD trend, and it continues to date. Almost all the larger organisations and SMEs joined in the movement that benefits not only the employee but also the employer. According to Gartner, more than 50% of the workplaces are now following the BYOD trend by the end of 2018.

Let us see what it is there for an organisation:

Impact of BYOD on Productivity:

How BYOD increases productivity?

Well, let’s take an example to clarify. Suppose you have been using a laptop for quite a few years now. One day you have decided to purchase a brand-new laptop. Initially, while using the new laptop, especially the keyboard, it takes a few days to get accustomed to it. Though the keyboard alignment is the same as the previous laptop, however, the shape and size of the keys are different. Your fingers muscle memory takes some time to adjust with the depression force it exerts on the keyboard.

Organisations understand the fact that employees will be comfortable with their own devices. They will be able to perform the quality task from day one without even investing time to get accustomed to a new device or software environment. Organisations also understand the fact that BYOD will facilitate an environment of flexibility for the employees. Employees can perform a task seamlessly inside the office, on-the-go, and from their house.

Risk associated with BYOD:

However, with BYOD, every organisation go through a series of vulnerability. The first of the series and probably the biggest concern is Security. Since employees are bringing their own devices into the organisation, it would be wrong to think all of them equipped with the latest and updated security system. Some of them may even contain malware and other harmful application. They may pass on the information to a third party without getting detected. Moreover, malware can infest the whole network of the organisation, making them all malfunction.

The second vulnerability of the series is Privacy. A few employees with ill intention can copy customer information, trade secret, and classified information in their own devices and send them to competitor or fraudsters. Till the time a company prepares and implements a standardized policy for BYOD, privacy will remain an issue. A few of the Indian MNCs have faced cases where employee copied valuable data from company server using a laptop and a USB device.

The third vulnerability is Compatibility. A few of the devices and its software may become obsolete and may not function accurately. Version mismatch, limited access, and mismatch in the configuration can slow down or even hamper the proper functioning. However, with the intervention of Cloud Technology, this issue is mitigated to a greater extent.

Increasing usage of BYOD:

A 2015 ZD Net survey disclosed that 74% of the employees worldwide have started working on their own devices. The tremendous popularity and success of BYOD, have already uplifted the Enterprise Mobility Management market to $ 87 billion by the end of 2014 and it is expected to grow more than $ 500 billion by the end of 2022. Taking data at our side, we can say undoubtedly that BYOD, in fact, a method of productivity enhancement. But, what about the BYOD vulnerabilities?

Being responsible users:

To counteract the vulnerability issues, we can take measures from the education level. We can incorporate sessions/seminars to make students aware of the vulnerabilities, and how to act responsibly at their institutional level, and in the workplace. We have also observed a surge of BYOD for not only gaining knowledge from specific portals, but using it to classified activities such as research report, dissertation, and thesis preparation. We need to make the students of Gen Z understand the benefits of being responsible for data security and privacy. It is for their betterment and benefit.

About the Author:

Saurajit Mallick is a Content Developer at Pune Institute of Business Management. He carries six years of industry exposure and one year of academic experience.