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BYOD is a practice in current businesses that permit employees to bring their personal electronic devices to the workplace, for work-related issues.

Sanctioning employees to bring their own devices and access organization’s work policies and information make them more productive, according to a new survey. BYOD was first put to common practice by INTEL in 2009, acknowledging the growing trend in its workforce to bring their own laptops, smartphones, USB drives to work. Despite the security issues from an IT perspective, the trend has actually seen positive results with more organizations now following the same route. Commonly known as ‘IT consumerization’, BYOD is now firmly established in developed and developing countries.

Why is BYOD Technology important?

The Bring Your Own Device or BYOD technology enables users, typically employees of organizations, to access enterprise data through their personal devices such as phones and laptops. Many organizations in recent times had observed that several employees often carried their personal devices to their workplaces and preferred working on them, rather than utilizing company resources. Hence, these days, many firms are adopting BYOD policies, which not only offer their employees the flexibility to carry their personal devices but also help in curbing infrastructure costs. 

However, BYOD has its own share of disadvantages. For instance, a device on which critical enterprise information was frequently accessed is lost; the chances of data breach become quite high. The technology also makes the firm's data more vulnerable to unethical acts such as hacking.  

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is an increasingly popular trend in businesses, where employee-owned devices are allowed to be used for business purposes. The most common BYOD device is the smartphone, but it is becoming increasingly common that employees also take tablets or personal laptops into the workplace, to access privileged company information.

As a term, BYOD was first commonly used in 2009 as Intel recognized an increasing number of its personnel using BYOD to work. However, the term rose to prominence in early 2011, when IT service provider Unisys and software vendor Citrix Systems began talking about it.

BYOD is today, part of the larger IT consumerization trend, where consumer hardware and software are being allowed in the workplace. Employee-owned devices are often permitted by companies and supported alongside company-owned devices. BYOD policies can take up many shapes and forms. Some companies give employees stipends to purchase their own devices for enterprise use, cutting back on corporate-issue laptops and computer. However, it is customary for organizations to support personal mobile devices, in addition to corporate-issued equipment. BYOD policy often varies depending on a user’s organizational role, making it specific to his/her device and the application requirements that come with that.

The main concern when talking about BYOD policies is the security aspect of it. Whether employee-owned hardware and software are maintained or not, the security risks they pose to the organization is tremendous, especially when connecting to corporate networks to access data. As a result, more and more companies are implementing strict BYOD policies to minimize the risk while at the same time, accommodating their employees’ devices. BYOD policies can greatly vary amongst companies, depending on the risks and threats the company faces. The level of flexibility given to employees for device selection will vary wildly as well.

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