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Personal Devices Making Waves in the Workplace

Employee owned devices becoming accepted by employers.

Businesses that want to maximize productivity and efficiency within their staff often try to create an environment that caters to their employees. In these instances, firms are enabling their workforce to use consumer technologies in the workplace and are forming "bring your own device" policies, according to a recent survey conducted by global business technology solutions provider Avanade.

"The nature of work and how business gets done is going through a transformation," said Mick Slattery, executive vice president of Avanade Global Service Lines. "Consumer technologies in the workplace are a significant catalyst for this transformation."

Business Tasks Made Easier with BYOD
€‹Many employees prefer to use their own devices in the workplace, and when their employers provide an environment that supports consumer technologies, staff are able to be more productive. The research revealed 54 percent of respondents said their employees use smartphones for basic work tasks such as reading email, online documents and calendar invitations, while 33 percent asserted that staff members are deploying tablets for such tasks.

"Executives are capitalizing on the opportunity these technologies offer by adjusting business processes and updating policies with measurable results in areas such as customer service, profitable growth, happier employees and bringing new products and services to market faster," said Slattery.

Tablets are being used for more advanced tasks in the workplace. The survey found one-third of respondents are taking advantage of the power of tablets to take on business-related tasks, including customer relationship management, project management, content creation and data analysis. Businesses that are enabling their staff to use their own devices are demonstrating that such policies are fruitful. Fifty-four percent of firms doing so said they are likely to report increased profits compared to businesses not leveraging these technologies, policies and processes.

Employees Must Make Sacrifices to Earn BYOD
When businesses allow their staff to use consumer technologies for company-related tasks, it becomes increasingly important that these firms are focusing on security. BYOD makes business processes increasingly easier for staff members, but for the companies deploying such policies, data security becomes more difficult to preserve. In these instances, it's imperative that firms ask their employees to forgo some privacy on their devices so they can be properly secured, according to a recent article for USA Today.

"If workers want more BYOD, they will need to give up something in return," Jack Gold, researcher at J. Gold Associates, told the news source. "That's the ability for enterprises to enact policies and control their access and actions."

One of the best ways to ensure the security of BYOD policies is through mobile devices management. The news source stated these solutions enable employers to take control of the devices owned by their staff to install security measures, as well as give them the ability to remotely wipe the memory from such smartphones, or tablets in the event devices are lost or stolen.

Build a Policy that Works for the Company
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to BYOD, and because of this, businesses get the opportunity to create their own policies and regulations that work best for the firm, according to USA Today. Making sure all employees understand what constitutes acceptable use of their devices and which applications are safe to deploy will ensure that security risks are less of a concern for the business.

"Organizations have to fundamentally change the way that they think about security," Giri Sreenivas, mobile manager at security firm Rapid7, asserted to the news source. "They have to think about what makes up an acceptable use policy, one that employees can believe in and agree to."

Are you allowing employees to bring in personal devices? Does your company have a strong BYOD policy?