BOYD: a boon or a bane?

The encroachment of mobile devices like the smartphones and the tablets into our lives has compelled various companies to allow employees to bring their own devices to the workplace. The argument in favour of this step chiefly consists of the points, which state that since employees are so used to these devices in their personal lives, the companies have no other choice than to accept the fact. The company needs younger task force to stay ahead in the market and maintain its brand image as the leading edge. This involves recruitment of young professionals along with their smart devices, which they are so accustomed. This approach is also cheap and cost saving.

However, we are concerned whether or not this approach is as cost saving and cheap as it seems to be. Giving the employee freedom to buy his device and bring it to office poses multiple threats to the organization. This is because the device brings with it extra baggage, which goes unnoticed and we are not referring to just the black and blue box carrying the device. The biggest threat to an organization can be of security and these devices just about do the same. The content for any smartphone or tablet is both software and data and it can be sensitive data as well. With no usage restrictions on the employees regarding their devices, it is highly likely that this sensitive data or important software might be leaked or stolen from the device by hacking and other advanced technologies. Thus, mobile security is a major concern here and the companies or the organization needs to invest a good amount of money in it. Quite often, it surfaces that there has been very little mobile security risk assessment or user training has been insufficient. The latest hurdle to this is the mixing up of work and day-to-day life in these devices. This is the part where the employees need to be educated about where they stand and what their responsibilities are. They must know what is acceptable and what is not.

These calls for a number of mobile device management tools for the employees and the organization, which ultimately leads to further expenditures, form the part of the company. But, with BYOD, these management tools have come face to face with more difficult task of telling the employees and persuading them to allow the company to have control over their personal devices. All these developments have cost inputs again which adds up to the previous cost implications.