Bring-your-own-device, or BYOD, is one of the major trends for businesses in the technology sector. It is easy to understand why, as the practice of using personal mobile devices as a business tool has helped small and midsize companies incorporate effective solutions without tapping deeper into their already-thin wallets. While the benefits of BYOD can be far-reaching, the risk, if left unchecked, can be devastating.
"If you want to make the most of BYOD benefits, you're going to have to deal with challenges," Alison Ruge, senior researcher in Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group, told CIO. "You're going to have to make some internal changes, so that the weaknesses of BYOD don't overwhelm the positives."
What Ruge is referring to is what Cisco found after conducting in-depth interviews with IT professionals from 19 mid-market companies – those with 150 to 1,500 employees. While all of them are using BYOD strategies to empower the workforce, many of them have done so blindly.
There are several pitfalls that businesses are falling into. Some companies find themselves being forced into cloud computing before they are truly ready to move away from servers and laptops. Others do not focus enough on having mutually beneficial security and legal protocol and are too quick to put ones in place that heavily favor the enterprise. There is also the possibility of a nomadic workforce feeling being created.
These challenges do not even start to cover the potential security and networking concerns that introducing personal devices brings to the table. BYOD is much more than just allowing employees to bring their smartphone and tablets to work. Because of this, IT Principals need to be aware of the challenges, and partnering with an experienced solution provider that has impactful talent is a strong way for smaller companies to overcome the hurdles.