Yesterday we posted an article that explained what the new trend of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is and some of the things you, as a small business, need to know in order to protect yourself. Today, we’ll cover the implications it has on your overall cost, including IT and security and services available to help you control these issues.
Proponents of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) tout its miraculous cost savings and extra freedoms that employees and businesses alike benefit from. What they don’t tell you is that you are more vulnerable to security breaches and the costs might be higher than you think.
BYOD isn’t as new as you might believe. Back in the days of yore, people were also insisting on bringing along their own personal computing equipment. The only difference is that, back then, it wasn’t such a big deal as it is now. So, what are the implications?
According to Cisco’s BYOD survey, there could be added costs to running a BYOD-friendly business. The bad news is that you don’t really have a choice but to embrace this new necessary evil to crawl into your company. The biggest of these costs is the IT impact. You see, you now have to work as much as possible on securing the IT side of your business. You also must provide support for any issues that occur on the many different devices your employees use.
While the price is pretty hefty, you might take a load off your shoulders on one hand since you don’t have to buy the hardware. On another plus side, you’re going to have to deal less with getting an employee on the learning curve in a device he or she might consider unfriendly. This happens often when a company issues an Android phone to a non-tech-savvy employee who is very accustomed to working with iOS.
Here’s another thing: What if the employee decides to leave the company at some point? There have to be failsafes so that the employee no longer can access sensitive data about the firm. This is true especially if you’re running a law or research firm. Anything is possible, and you have to be prepared for everything that can happen.
The good news is that Cisco is working on a solution for BYOD companies. Citrix already has a solution out that could interest you, although it’s kind of limited. If you’re looking for ways to deal with the torrent of BYOD, just make sure your IT department is keeping track of what’s coming in and going out.
Mobile device management solutions exist to help you retake control over aspects of your business accessed on employee devices. However, this is also limited and provides a rather rigid system that isn’t easily scalable.
For ultimate flexibility, you can try a current solution by Extreme Networks, called “Intelligent Mobile Edge.” This gives you a wired and wireless infrastructure packaged along with a powerful identity management solution. These three elements will give you a tightly-wound secure BYOD environment.
The inevitable doesn’t necessarily have to be troublesome as long as you know how to embrace it. If you play it smart, your business will function no worse with BYOD policies than it did with company-issued devices. Who knows? Maybe it will even run better!
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