If you take a look around any office, I guarantee you will see at least one mobile device placed on each employee’s desk. It cannot be denied that as cell phones become more of a necessity people are almost physically connected to their mobile devices. According to one survey in 2013 87% of American adults own a cell phone. Of those adults who are employed, 53% use their own devices for work. Businesses are choosing to embrace the growth of personal devices in the work place and implement BYOD programs for these 3 key reasons:
- Increases employee productivity – Increasing productivity is the leading factor driving businesses to adapt BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs. According to a Forrester survey, 70% of respondents cited by providing easy access to corporate information increased productivity. If employees have easy access to information on their personal devices then the potential to do work on the go increases.
- Improves employee flexibility – More than half of the respondents (52%) from the Forrester survey claimed that giving employees the flexibility to work on their personal devices improved productivity. BYOD allows employees to work from home easily while using their personal devices that could be newer models and have better technology compared to devices a company may provide.
- Cutting costs and improving competitive differentiation – Implementing BYOD has reduced expenses in 40% of the surveyed enterprises. The reduction in expenses have lead to competitive differentiation reported in one-fifth of survey respondents who explained cutting costs have allowed them to allocate resources elsewhere in the company.
Many businesses have shifted to BYOD for the reasons mentioned above but there are major questions that surround the security of devices. How does an enterprise manage and secure these devices? It’s a solid question every C-level executive should ask because it is so important. How is sensitive data from a business protected on a personal device? How do you make sure employees have secure access to company information? What if an employee loses their device?
All of these answers can be solved through mobile device management (MDM), security software that manages and secures mobile devices deployed across multiple service providers and multiple operating systems. MDM protects and monitors businesses, employees and clientele data from cyber attacks and malware.
MDM has the ability to detect technical issues while simultaneously making system updates. MDM used to have a wide variety of costs, including hardware and software maintenance. Now, MDM is offered as software as a service (SaaS), usually a part of an IT consulting firm’s IT Managed Services. This means the MDM is based in the cloud, which lowers costs and improves manageability drastically.