You’ve heard of BYOB — Bring Your Own Bottle. It’s a common restaurant option that allows patrons to bring their own wine, beer, or spirit that best suits them. Not only does BYOB allow each diner to personalize their drink options based on preference or dietary restrictions, but it also promotes a more positive customer experience by providing more flexibility and customization.

This same principle applies for today’s employers with BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, which is quickly (especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic where remote work has become increasingly normalized) becoming one of the greatest assets an employer can provide. And the good news for employers is that the statistics on employees using their own personal devices to complete or facilitate work paint a very encouraging picture in terms of productivity, positive employee outlook, and how and when work is done.

Let’s examine the BYOD trend and the real-world statistics around this new way of working to better understand what this means for employers and employees alike.

Why BYOD?

Before we look at the stats and impact of BYOD, let’s first more firmly define and understand what BYOD means in today’s world. We already established the core of BYOD is employees using their personal devices such as smartphones, tablets, and other platforms for work tasks or in a workplace environment, but there’s a little more to it. In fact, BYOD includes any avenue of connectivity to networks, databases, or drives from a personal device.

A recent article in Forepoint defined BYOD as: “Bring your own device (BYOD) refers to the trend of employees using personal devices to connect to their organizational networks and access work-related systems and potentially sensitive or confidential data. Personal devices could include smartphones, personal computers, tablets, or USB drives.”

There are a variety of pros and cons to a BYOD model for both employers and employees. Some of the benefits include:

  • Increases in productivity over a 40-hour workweek.
  • Enhanced employee job satisfaction and retention through flexible work arrangements.
  • Greater employee effectiveness due to more comfort and speed with their own devices.

However, there are some significant liabilities presented by a BYOD model, particular in terms of network security or safeguarding sensitive company information. Additional challenges to incorporating a BYOD framework include:

  • Lack of a centralized, accessible network.
  • Data breaches or gaps in system/network security.
  • Increases in IT costs to support personal devices or applications in a work environment.

As you can see, there is significant upside and potential pitfalls with the BYOD model that require serious thought and consideration especially as the size and scope of one’s company grows.

BYOD by the numbers

With a better understanding of BYOD and the pros and cons in today’s workplace, let’s take a look a few key statistics that illuminate why BYOD is such a growing trend and why employees (particularly those in the tech industry, which we know is a device-heavy industry) are finding BYOD such a valuable component in productivity and striking a rewarding work-life balance.

87% of businesses depend on employees ability to access mobile apps

As we touched on earlier, the idea of work in 2021 is something of a moving target. Work is no longer restricted to a 9 to 5 office setting. Today, work is done remotely from a home office or kitchen table. Emails are answered between folding loads of laundry and dropping the kids off at soccer practice, and EOD can mean 10 or 11 pm. The ability to remain connected to networks, drives, and team members or supervisors is more mission-critical than ever before, and there are a number of apps that help employees remain productive at any time anywhere in the world.

  • Asana is a task management and team communication app that tracks deadlines, promotes cross-functional communication and collaboration, and provides greater visibility and insight into each stage of a project for increased time management and productivity. Asana also provides an internal dashboard with detailed reporting on productivity, task allocation, and other KPIs to help managers and employees work in a proactive manner.
  • Hootsuite provides social media managers, content creators, and other marketing professionals with a simple to use, holistic social media and content management system to create timely, engaging social media and web content at the drop of a hat. In an age where digital conversations happen in real time and the need for accurate, relevant content is greater than ever before, Hootsuite is a powerful tool that can be used on-the-go.
  • Docusign removes the downtime often required in closing deals. This digital document and signature management system streamlines a number of traditional pen-and-paper tasks and virtually eliminates the manual interventions associated with document management. Approvals, contracts, and other important documentation can now be facilitated on your phone or tablet without ever having to be in a traditional office setting.

The BYOD market will reach $366 billion by 2022

The BYOD market is having its moment. In less than a year from now, the BYOD market is expected to reach more than $366 billion in total revenue, and it’s safe to say that number will continue to increase as more and more companies understand the value and benefit of remote work as the world emerges from the COVID-19 crisis. Clearly, this is a very positive sign for technology companies in terms of the need and demand for greater numbers of connected devices that are dual-use for work and play. In addition, device-adjacent fields like networks, database companies, and Cloud computing organizations will likely experience seismic growth as the need for dynamic connectivity will increase along with the sheer number of devices in use.

72% of companies lack a plan to secure BYOD devices

Nearly three-quarters of companies with some level of a BYOD structure do not have an identified strategy to secure said devices or successfully incorporate them into an existing security infrastructure. That’s an alarming statistics and one that companies across a variety of industries must quickly address as BYOD becomes the norm. This gap in BYOD strategy has a number of potential consequences as well as some interesting opportunities.

First, without an identified, actionable security strategy for BYOD, the likelihood of data breaches, network failures, and the unintentional dissemination of sensitive or damaging information is vastly increased. This of course can result in significant downtime, massive costs associated with fixing a data breach, and bad optics from peer groups within your industry, to say nothing of how potential employees might view your organization.

However, the opportunities for developers or coders abound. With so many companies leaving themselves vulnerable without a BYOD security strategy, the need for talented developers and web professionals is likely to soar as companies rush to identify a security strategy and deploy it before they become susceptible to a major breach or cyber attack.

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