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Keys to enabling an effective and secure BYOD programme

Adrian M. Reodique | Feb. 15, 2017
Experts from IDC, Microsoft, IBM, and VMware shared tips on how APAC businesses can successfully implement a BYOD programme.

Credit: GraphicStock

Is your company ready to deploy a 'Bring Your Own Device' (BYOD) programme?

BYOD, which basically empowers employees to use their personal devices for work purposes, is not a new concept. "BYOD has been a constant tenet of an organisation's enterprise mobility strategy in the Asia Pacific excluding Japan region (APeJ) over the past several years, considering how most Asian societies happen to be mobile-first, which is what drove BYOD in the first place," said Avinash Sundaram, Lead for mobility, International Data Corporation (IDC) Asia Pacific (APAC), in an interview with CIO Asia.

Avinash Sundaram, Lead for mobility of IDC in APAC. 

According to VMware's 2016 State of Digital Workspace report, 29 percent of businesses in APAC region are already deploying a BYOD programme. The report polled 1,263 business decision makers and IT influencers globally to examine the adoption of digital workspace.

BYOD was also found to be the top mobility initiative of IT decision makers in the region who were polled for IDC AP's 2016 Enterprise Mobility survey, said Sundaram.

We spoke to technology experts to find out the boons and banes of BYOD, as well as how businesses can effectively and securely roll out this mobility approach.

Upsides of BYOD

The biggest advantage of BYOD is that it can help boost employees' productivity. "It is safe to say that employees who use their own devices are typically already comfortable and adept in its use, which makes them more productive," explained Matthew Burns, Business Unit Executive for Endpoint and Mobility of IBM Security. He added that employees can productively accomplish their tasks since they can gain access to work e-mail and applications from anywhere and at any time.

Matthew Burns, Business Unit Executive for Endpoint and Mobility of IBM Security.

Besides that, providing employees the flexibility to use their preferred device may boost employees' morale. "Studies have shown that autonomy is linked to higher job satisfaction and employee engagement. According to a previous study by IBM, 83 percent of users consider their mobile device to be more important than their morning cup of coffee," said Burns.

Security is BYOD's Achilles' heel

Since "personal devices tend to not feature enterprise-grade security features", security is BYOD's biggest challenge, said Jacqui Miranda, Director, Surface Devices Sales and Marketing, Microsoft Asia Pacific. 

Jacqui Miranda, Director, Surface Devices Sales and Marketing, Microsoft APAC 

"With mobile proving to be a popular choice target for malware today, there have been many instances where companies have lost confidential data as a result of security attacks on their employees' personal devices either due to the lack of education or negligence," Burns explained.


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