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BYOD – More Than A Trend

I met my friend Natalie for coffee the other day. She was eager to tell me about her latest purchase – a brand new laptop.

BYODShe had done her research and shopped around for a device that fit her budget, but like all of us these days, she spent a bit more than planned on this new device to ensure it had the largest hard drive, processor and memory needed for movies, games and music.

As we talked about this new device she pointed out that it was more advanced than her work computer. She wished she could use her new device at the office because it would help her get her work done faster.

Many employees like Natalie are asking their managers if they can use their own device at work, mainly because these devices are newer, faster and easier to use than their work computer.

This new trend, known as “Bring Your Own Device”, or BYOD, is becoming more and more the norm. Many industry analysts predict that BYOD strategies will be developed and implemented by most businesses in the next few years.

In addition to employee demand, business owners and managers are seriously considering BYOD strategies for another reason – cost savings to the business.

With employees carrying the purchase cost of laptops, tablets and smart phones there can be significant savings to the business. And when you remove the IT help desk time and cost to upgrade and harden these devices the savings become even more significant.

There are some things to consider before BYOD users can start connecting to your corporate network and using their own device. BYOD users must follow the same user authentication, authorization, security and privacy policies as those users with corporate devices.

Business owners and IT Managers must determine what impact BYOD users will have on their ability to deliver secure access to corporate networks and applications, including web based, client/server and legacy apps.

The results of this analysis will determine if new interfaces need to be developed for every device or if a single technology can be deployed to provide access to these applications on any device.

In addition to the secure access needs, there are the end user needs. Users will want a simple and consistent access method using all these devices.

And, will BYOD users expect the IT help desk to support their personal device issues?

To support privacy policies auditing of user access across all devices will also be important.

The way people work, and where they work, is changing how business functions. New strategies, like BYOD, are needed to support these always-on, mobile workers and the devices they use.

With laptop, tablet and smart phone sales increasing steadily, it looks like these strategies will be needed sooner than later.

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