BYOD has sparked discussion in debate in corporate boardrooms and amongst IT departments across the globe. The term refers to the recent trend of employees bringing their personal devices to work and using them outside the office to access company documents, collaborate with co-workers and share information.
This month we will take a close look at BYOD in the office and in the classroom.
The Case for BYOD in the Classroom - Part I: Why the Fuss Over BYOD?
Think of all the important files that you and your colleagues access on your office computers, like revenue projections, product development plans and prospect lists. Now think of everyone at your company who might access, revise and share these company files from their laptops, Smartphones and tablets while at home or on the road.
Now imagine that Elaine’s laptop has a virus but she saves her revenue projections on the shared network drive. Bob uses his own app to revise the training schedule. Lynn, who’s never without her company Smartphone; quits her job but neglects to return her device. Anup is always on the road but rarely backs up his documents to the network.
Get the picture?
Just mention BYOD and you may send involuntary shivers up the spine of your IT director. The proliferation of laptops, Smartphones and tablets has sent IT scurrying to protect corporate information from a host of headaches, not the least of which include cyber attack and security breaches. Your IT department is sworn to enforce data security and protect corporate governance. When it comes to protecting corporate data from personal devices, allowing employees free reign will undoubtedly lead to disaster.
This does not mean that IT should not tolerate BYOD; rather, they should embrace it! Putting policies in place to maintain data security while permitting employees to use their personal devices for work is essential, whether they’re on the job or in the classroom. These policies, often coupled with solutions that protect company data on all devices, can make BYOD safe and manageable.