When employees’ mobile devices began to migrate into the office, employers were of two houses. Either plagued by unanswered questions and potential security risks, they banned non-company devices from accessing the company network, or enticed by possible cost savings, they embraced mobile with open arms. The evolution of centralized management programs as well as added security tools have translated into the more welcoming atmosphere today, and enterprise mobility may have crossed the line into the safe zone.
The workforce of this decade is made up of more millennials than ever before. For millenials, technology has always been an integral part of their lives. They go nowhere without their devices, using them for both work and play. They demand to be connected whether at home, the office, or on the go, and the majority may have a remote work arrangement as well. While this may bring productivity questions to the minds of managers and employers, the truth is that this generation is highly innovative and will seek out solutions to boost their production.
The expectation of connectivity means that bring your own device (BYOD) programs have become quite popular. Millennials want to use one device for both managing their career and enjoying their personal lives. At first, the connections by all of those devices were intimidating and unmanageable. How would enterprise data be protected on mobile devices owned by the employee? What would happen in the event of a lost or stolen device? Employers saw the potential for misadventure in BYOD models and were reluctant to adopt the new norm brought about by the millennial generation lest a breach occur.
Managing the Mistrust
Soon after BYOD began to creep in came the solutions that would make this model governable. Mobile Device Management (MDM) applications allowed administrators to add and remove devices to and from the network, remotely wipe lost devices, control connectivity, and bring an element of control into a complicated picture. Security software was introduced that prevented viruses, provided secure channels into the business network, and helped protect company data from inappropriate access.
These tools can be used without noticeably obstructing employees, a clear advantage when it comes to this tech-savvy worker population. All of these measures are critically important to an enterprise mobility strategy, as one breach can be enough to shut company doors permanently, especially where media exposure is involved.
The greatest asset a company may have is its data. The point of a BYOD plan is to enable appropriate access to it while also protecting it. Even with mobile devices connected to the network, enterprise data can still be constrained to a firewall-protected area. A secure path to access is constructed, allowing IT to monitor and protect information while still giving workers what they need. Encryption, secure web transfer utilities, and effective administration of permissions help actively and passively reduce risk.
The workforce of this decade is extremely advanced when it comes to technology. Keeping them connected ultimately benefits the employer. Protecting that connectivity is no longer a major undertaking since tools now exist to do so.
The benefits of BYOD are widely recognized — saving money, enhancing productivity, and improving worker satisfaction are major gains. By creating a strong MDM program, both workers and companies stay connected and protected. For more information on MDM and BYOD programs, contact Coda Global today.