The ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) phenomenon is slowly but surely becoming the norm in U.S. workplaces. A 2012 survey by Microsoft found that 67 percent of workers use their personal devices at work whether the company has a BYOD policy or not. A 2013 Vanson Bourne survey (commissioned by Dell) found that 74 percent of IT leaders thought BYOD policies can help employees be more productive.
The new year brings its own expectations and concerns with BYOD. Here are three BYOD-related items both workers and employers should thing about.
COPE – The New Acronym
Despite across the board enthusiasm about BYOD and the benefits it brings to all sides, security concerns have slowed its progress. The Ponemon Institute found that 60 percent of IT specialists were concerned about security issues and cost when reporting their overall dissatisfaction with BYOD solutions. COPE, or “corporate-owned, personally enabled,” is the hybrid approach to BYOD that aims to cure these issues.
The COPE model means companies buy the devices, but loosen restrictions so employees can use them for personal tasks as well. The fact the device is owned by the company means there can be no expectation of privacy from the worker. IT personnel feel this method offers many of the same benefits as BYOD, but closes several legal loopholes and helps protect intellectual property. COPE certainly won’t solve every security issue, but provides businesses wishing to adopt more liberal device policies a different approach.
VDI – The Other Acronym
Even if a company pays for tablets employees choose, there is still no guarantee that proprietary information stays that way. Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) keeps all document creation, viewing and editing apps on a server, with nothing ever permanently saved on the client. The desktop of all devices on the network are hosted by one virtual machine. Jim O’Reilly of NetworkComputing.com says this approach is similar but less heavy-handed than giving IT total control of all configurations. The United Kingdom government is taking the lead with VDI, creating its own app store and encouraging businesses to get on-board.
A 2013 Forrester survey found that iPads and Android tablets made up a vast majority of BYOD devices. Retailers like Lenovo that sell Windows 8-based devices did not reap the benefits due to consumers scoffing at Windows 8. But the same Forrester survey then asked about deployment of BYOD in the next 12 months, and a majority of respondents said they would be using Microsoft products. Some have attributed the resurgence to the release of Windows 8.1, which fixed several issues users complained about. Most notably the Windows Facebook app works for 8.1 (unlike Windows 8) and the operating system overall takes up 15 percent less hard drive space.
BYOD is here to stay and will only improve in 2014. Businesses that refuse to embrace it will be left behind.
This was a guest post from
David is a digital media consultant for small businesses. His pet project is developing a social media app similar to Twitter.