BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” refers to the trend where organizations allow their employees to use personal mobile devices at work and allow those devices to connect to corporate networks and resources.

There are Advantages and Disadvantages to it, and most organizations even without an official BYOD policy are already seeing both, even if they are not aware of it.

The advantages of BYOD is that your user community gets to use the device they are most comfortable with, which generally means they are going to use the device more often which generally leads to more productive workers often doing more work after hours..  It can also mean some cost savings for organizations who don’t have to purchase the devices any longer, but often these costs are outweighed by other costs.

The disadvantages of BYOD is that organizations now have to manage these devices, and monitor what users have access to, and be able to eliminate that access should that device become lost or an employee leaves the organization..  This is where most organizations struggle, they don’t have the monitoring tools in place to monitor how these devices are being used when they are on the corporate network, nor do they have the ability to protect these devices when they are outside the corporate network from being compromised.  These devices often still have access to sensitive corporate information or contain that same information.

Recommendations – Every organization should have a corporate policy on BYOD, including an Acceptable Use Policy so that employee’s understand what they are allowed to do when connected to the corporate network.  Every organization should also be looking at tools to assist your IT Department in managing these devices, giving them the ability to remotely lock these devices, remotely wipe these devices, or in some cases alert the organization when corporate information is sent outside of the corporate network.

It’s also something that younger employees are looking for when they are looking at new employer’s, it’s amazing how this has a pretty big impact on their decision, some people just can’t live without their Apple IOS device, or me personally by Blackberry.

Next Dimension is a leading IT Services Company with offices in Windsor, London and Waterloo, Adam Davis who submitted this article originally for the Chamber of Commerce Newsletter in 2014 is the President, and currently a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.