November 4, 2015 – BYOD – it’s similar to BYOB in a lot of ways.
For starters, BYOD gives your employees the flexibility to work from whatever device they are most comfortable with (as opposed to being forced to “drink” the company standard). Secondly, it puts the financial burden of purchasing and supporting the devices on the employee themselves (their trade-off is they get want they want). You, the employer, aren’t paying for everyone to participate in your technology infrastructure (although some organizations offer some level of offset stipend). And finally, people are much more protective and careful with their devices when they have personally selected and acquired them, meaning less spilled “beer”, fewer ruined “rugs”, etc. etc. etc. (aka fewer technical malfunctions that slow down operations and require expensive repairs).
You get the drift. Allowing your staff to bring their own devices to work makes for a better party – or productive workday – for everyone.
Still, there are aspects to BYOD that can be dangerous for companies who aren’t taking a proactive stance on this rampant practice.
- BYOD doesn’t work well unless you are using desktop virtualization. This is what allows secure “Any Device, Anywhere Access” to a full business desktop.
- Without desktop virtualization there is less compatibility across technologies, and the system that was intended to make life easier actually makes life harder – for everyone.
- Without virtualization, BYOD can carry significant security risks.
- Compliance issues can also become a concern without a proper BYOD-protecting virtualization platform.
- Mixing employee’s private information with corporate data on their personal devices can be precarious for both parties involved.
So there’s your predicament.
Your employees want to use their personal devices in the workplace. In fact, they will likely do so regardless of whether or not it’s been approved by management in order to increase their productivity and flexibility.
But, if you aren’t careful, proactive, and strategic about your company’s own BYOD management, BYOD will actually decrease productivity, increase security and compliance risk, and can possibly lead to very disgruntled employees down the road.
To protect both your company, your employees, and your customers, it’s imperative to put desktop virtualization technology into place – either through the cloud or through virtualization optimization of your on-premise technology infrastructure.
Without using desktop virtualization technology, your employees are storing company data on a personal device over which you have no control. With a virtualized desktop delivered from the datacenter, your employee’s personal device is not actually directly connected to your network (like it is with a VPN). Employees are only use the device’s screen and keyboard to access all corporate communications, which are encrypted and secure.
If there is ever an issue with the employee’s personal device – i.e. it gets lost, stolen, or the employee leaves the company – access to the data can be shut down immediately. And, most importantly, the company has control over all security and compliance infrastructure, making sure company and customer data is properly protected.
Look at it this way. You’re throwing a little party called work. Everyone wants to BYOB… or BYOD. And by implementing virtualization, you can ensure that your party stays under control, everyone has a good time, and the cops are never called. It’s like checking IDs at the door. If you don’t, you’re just asking for trouble.