BYOD ‘is unavoidable’

BYOD ‘is unavoidable’

Companies need to realise that their employees will use their personal devices at work, making BYOD an “unavoidable” trend, experts have said. 

Speakers at Insider’s Investing in Technology Breakfast in Bristol noted that many businesses are not being fast enough when it comes to putting a BYOD policy in place to deal with employees utilising their own devices for work purposes. 

Andy Farmer, chief executive of app development company MyOxygen, commented: "Quite a few organisations still use two devices – a work device and a personal device – but organisations need to think about how they manage and control this.”

Weighing in on the discussion, Simon Minton, director at software platform Agilebase, added: "I don't think you can avoid BYOD. People are using it regardless and bypassing any policies."

However, other panellists said that BYOD would typically be driven by management rather than staff.

Martin Cuell, partner at law firm Food Anstey, contended that many employees are actually reticent to bring their own devices into the workplace. 

"An issue often forgotten is the perception of the workforce and whether they want to bring their own devices and incorporate their work life into them,” he commented. 

Irrespective of whether the BYOD trend is driven by management or staff, security is always going to be one of the top priorities for those companies that operate such a scheme. 

Mr Cuell pointed out that some companies run policies where they are able to monitor and erase emails. The question is whether this policy would also apply on an employee’s device too. 

Other questions he underlined included how much data employees are allowed to take out of the organisation, how secure the networks are and how protected confidential data would be. 

The conclusion of the debate was that businesses must put in place safeguards to deal with the issues that accompany BYOD. They must also ensure employees are aware what their side of the bargain is if they are using their own devices.