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The new freedoms afforded by remote working are revolutionising how we interact as professionals.
Smartphones, tablets and other connected portable devices have cut the chain attaching us to our desks with a mobile capability that brings colleagues and business networks into the palm of our hands, wherever we may be in the world.
An Ovum study surveyed full-time employees across a range of industries worldwide. When asked whether being able to access corporate emails and other business applications outside official working hours enables them to do their job better, 62.2 per cent of respondents either agreed or strongly.
The appetite among workers for mobility is not in doubt, but how organisations meet this demand is not quite so clear cut.
Enabling mobility throughout a workforce cannot happen without establishing the extent of its need, and which workers or teams it will suit. An evaluation needs to take place of all roles and enterprise processes, to establish which mobile unified communication platforms are needed.
Without a platform that can support mobile technology and applications, businesses run the risk of pushing workers towards external and potentially unsecure or inadequate mobile services to get through their duties.
Mobility is underpinned by a BYOD dynamic that is reimagining how organisations and the teams within them collaborate. Beyond a trend, this culture needs to be respected, managed, implemented and handled carefully, so as to maximise mobility with security optimisation.
Bring Your Own Device can be implemented in three ways:
Unrestricted & company supported: employees are able to use their devices as they see fit, for work and personal use, and the company will seek to support this usage.
Restricted & company supported: employees can only use personal devices for work which are supported and featured on a company issued list.
Unrestricted & unsupported: employees can use personal devices as they see fit, and company support is not given.
The latter of these options is not recommended, as it can leave information potentially and endpoints vulnerable to viruses and malware.
Costs to the company: BYOD can bring initial hardware savings and can also cut costs when it comes to device renewal. However, organisations should be aware that expenditure in this area can be offset by corporate subsidies, and that further costs can be incurred when it comes to supporting personally owned devices with the correct software.
Furthermore, supporting personal call plans for work use can be more expensive than corporate tariffs.
The mobility strategy: BYOD can provide a powerful and convenient stop-gap for employees to fall back on as they wait for an organisation to update its hardware.
Embracing it as a culture is also a good way for businesses to modernise, discover new methods and deliver more productive collaboration that resonates with modern working practices. BYOD opens up new freedoms to workers regarding which device they use, and when and where it is used.
Risks: For some enterprises and public sector organisations for whom data security is a premium, the introduction of a range of personal devices into the IT ecosystem is less desirable, and so corporate-owned strategies are implemented.
For most businesses, however, enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions are a great way to organise a secure implantation of BYOD that involves managing a heterogeneous environment with multiple platforms and device types.
One such solution from Dell prioritises enterprise security while introducing IT complexity to give a strategy that mobilises both the workforce and the data it relies on. Solutions across devices are integrated with management, applications and security to ensure reliable, safe working across all mobile tools.
Some bosses understandably feel overwhelmed by the surge in BYOD culture. Indeed, it’s changing how we work, but it’s a phenomenon that can be controlled, much to the advantage of enterprises who look to embrace it.
When leveraged correctly, BYOD can reinvigorate business to produce more mobile and satisfied workforce.