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A Research on Bring Your Own Device (byod) Management

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Abstract 

In today’s fast-paced world, IT industry is growing enormously and hence consumerization of IT. With the advancement of technology, IT users have to keep them aware and updated of the latest technologies or devices. The IT users thus spend most of their times after work in home to grasp the latest technologies in order to implement them in their organization. As a result of this they become more familiar or comfortable with the devices they use at home and prefer them in workplace even. Therefore, BYOD management plays an important role in IT industry. In this paper we are going to illustrate the pros and cons of BYOD, BYOD Management tool and alternatives to BYOD. 

Introduction 

BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” is a concept in which an employee usually prefers to use their own device at home as well as workplace. So in BYOD set up, employees need not use different devices for personal and professional purpose – the only same device can be used for multiple purpose. They can learn from anywhere and at any time and make the best utilization of time and knowledge and need not spend time on understanding the device as they are already familiar with it and hence there is no learning curve. 

Advantages of BYOD 

Increased Productivity: As the employee uses their own device, they can work immediately and with ease as they are already familiar with the device and hence saves time and provides increased productivity. 

  1. Cost-efficiency: Organization can save the money for setting up the additional devices as employees can use their own devices and that may increase the profit level of the organization. 
  2. Employee Satisfaction: Allowing the employees to use their own device at workplace helps the employees to attain a level of satisfaction as they are happy to use their own device and implement their technical skills at workplace. 
  3. Portability: As the employees are using their own devices, they are free to use it from anywhere and at any time and add extra value to the organization. There is no hard and fast rule that they have to leave their devices at their workstations that are assigned to them as they are not using the organization’s device. The employee here uses their own device and carries to office from home and vice versa. 
  4. Sanitation: This relates to the hygiene keeping health as wealth into consideration associated with an interaction technique. In an organization, multiple users may use the same system without keeping sanitation concerns in mind. But if the employees are using their own device, the well- used and well-maintained devices often leave positive impact on the usage. 
  5. Morale: As the employees are well-worse with the functioning of their own devices it becomes easy for the employees to work. 
  6. Respect towards the device: The employees often do not take good care of the organization’s assets/devices. But if they carry their own devices they handle them with care and keep them safe. 

Disadvantages of BYOD 

Apart from the advantages of BYOD – Bring your own Device, there are various disadvantages which can be highlighted and discussed: 

  1. Security: The organization’s confidential data may be at risk as the employee uses the same device for personal and professional use. There is a gruesome chance for unauthorized data sharing and data loss as the personal apps and the organizational apps run side by side in the same device. 
  2. Loss of device: The employee needs to carry their own devices from home to workplace and vice versa but if it is the organization’s asset, the employee need not carry it. In the process of carrying the device to and fro, the device might get stolen/ lost/ misplaced and as a result of it there are enormous chances of losing the organization’s data. 
  3. Device Variation: Organizations usually uses systems with similar configurations and versions. If the employee uses their own devices, there might be possibility of configuration or version mismatch leading to compatibility issues that might hamper the productivity and delivery. 
  4. Privacy: In order to manage the organization’s data, the organization takes control over the personal device of the employee. If we visualize this from the employee’s perspective, then this is a vital issue and can be stated as a barrier on the privacy of the employee. 
  5. Scalability: Every organization has their own network infrastructure set-up already. If the employees bring their own devices to their workplace it adds extra traffic to the network leading to scalability issues. 
  6. Maintenance: If employee uses multiple devices that runs on multiple operating systems then this will require extra concern for additional maintenance and support to the organization which will add on to extra cost. 
  7. Social Acceptability: There might be situations where a particular employee cannot afford to buy devices (laptops/tablets/smartphones) that can support the applications required to fulfill the organizational needs. This often leads him/her in an embarrassing situation at workplace when other employees bring their highly configured and maintained devices to provide support. 
  8. Exit Procedures: An employee can resign at any point of time. If the employee is using his/her own device, then the organizational data has to be cleared out of the employee’s device before the employee leaves the organization or else there might be data breach.

BYOD management tool 

MDM (Mobile Device Management) solutions are recognized as one of the most important BYOD management tools as BYOD management is nowadays as important as managing the devices in the corporate world. Mobile Device management is regarded as the solution for managing wholesome activities that relates to mobile devices. MDM provides solutions like storing the useful contents about mobile devices, taking decisions on which applications can be present on the devices, locating the devices and securing the devices in case it is stolen or lost. 

Working of MDM 

MDM is two-tier architecture where devices act as a client and MDM act as a server which manages the devices, configuration, apps and policies. The MDM server is used by IT admins remotely to manage mobile endpoints which contains devices like mobile phones, tablets and laptops of the employees. 

Features of MDM 

MDM has extensive set of BYOD features and using it we can almost nullify all the disadvantages of BYOD set up and only take benefits of its advantages. The features of MDM are highlighted in the below mentioned points: 

Easy and quick onboarding: The employees can register their devices with MDM by making the best utilization of the onboarding methods provided by MDM. The employee receives an invite from the IT admin containing instructions for self-enrollment via E-mail or SMS and after following the simple instructions, the employees receive the credentials by which they can enroll their personal devices for organizational use. 

Well planned management of personal devices: In an organization, there are both usage of personal and corporate devices. In order to configure the two different types of devices, separate set of policies are required. This is complex when dealing with large number of devices. MDM has an extravagant feature of accumulating personal devices into separate groups and then associate policies and apps to these groups. At any point of time a personal device can be brought under management after adding to this group and associating with the policy. When a device moves from one group to another, the new groups get automatically associated and the previous policies and groups get removed. 

Categorization of corporate data: MDM provides a solution which lets containerization of the corporate data from where only it is accessible without creating disturbance to the personal data. Here the corporate data is encrypted and stored in a logical container which differentiates it from the personal data ensuring that there is no illegal or unauthorized access to the corporate data.

Pre-configuring policies: MDM provides predefined basic configuration policies such as E-mail, Exchange ActiveSync, Wi-Fi etc, on the device so that the employees does not spend extra time in configuring corporate policies. 

Handling corporate apps: Using MDM, it becomes easier for the employees to install the apps they need as the IT admin can build an app catalog and create an application service portal. Even the settings can be pre-configured for the apps along with the permissions by making the apps ready to use once they are immediately installed and require very nominal intervention of the user. 

Device maintenance: You can initiate and automate OS updates from MDM server in case we encounter that the personal device is running outdated OS versions. The concept of BYOD states that the devices are portable and handy. There are high chances of the device getting lost/stole/misplaced. In such cases in order to prevent the data breach or unauthorized data loss MDM lets you lock the device remotely. To get the exact location of the device you can ring an alarm by locating the device. Lost Mode can be enabled in case the device is lost and in this case the device gets automatically locked preventing from data accessibility. MDM provides you with the option of resetting the password to make sure that the device cannot be unlocked from the Lost Mode by entering the device password. To handover the device to its authorized owner you can optionally display a message and a contact number. At last, you can also sweep the device to restrict misuse of data. 

By viewing the device screen or controlling it you can remotely troubleshoot the device in case the employee faces any issue out of the organizations’ premises. MDM prompts the user to accept a remote session to make the user aware of this. You can deprecate the device which automatically deletes the corporate data leaving behind the personal data unattended in case the employee is leaving the organization. 

Organization based use cases for MDM 

MDM can be utilized across industries. Below are some use cases: 

Case 1: Healthcare 

In this century most of the healthcare organizations are stepping forward towards Electronic Health Records (EHRs), as a result usage of mobile devices have become more popular in the healthcare sectors. An MDM provides a solution where the Personal Health Information (PHI) stored on mobile devices remains secure from illegal access. 

Case 2: Transportation 

The transportation industry is highly benefited with the advantages of MDM. A history of location traversed is well maintained and the business can also track shipment and location of the vehicles by using the MDM solution. Corporate devices can also be locked down to particular applications and/or settings to prevent device miss use and ensure maximum level of productivity. 

Case 3: Retail 

Mobile devices have also made it possible to enter into the market of retail sector and this is because of digital signage, mPOS, and self-service checkouts. Some enterprises in the retail industry use the combination of in-house application and certain policies on more standard devices like phone and tablets while the others use the mobile devices built for a specific requirement. An MDM solution supports the management of both the specialized devices such as the standard mobile devices rugged devices. 

Alternatives to BYOD 

Apart from BYOD, there are other alternatives also available that can also be used by an organization which are as follows: 

COPE: Corporate Owned/Personally Enabled is an alternative which allows the employee to use the device for personal and professional use that the organization buys and owns. In order to comply with the customized Mobile Device Management (MDM) and Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), the employees are allowed to use devices and operating systems that are pre-approved. The company is also able to manage and get rid of sensitive information if required as COPE policy gives corporate data ownership to the company. 

CYOD: Choose Your Own Device is an alternative in which the employee is only allowed to use the devices which are added to the whitelist of the organization. This reduces the security issues as the organization is letting the employees only to use the devices that are not prone to threat. Now if the employee’s device does not make the cut, the employee has to purchase new device to meet the organizational needs. CYOD combines the policies of both BYOD and COPE. Here the devices need to be pre-approved so the policy is compatible with the organizations MDM and EMM solution. This policy increases the security and reduces the glitches that comes with BYOD policy. In CYOD, personal and corporate data is not isolated which can increase the risk factor of the organization. 

Direct-to-carrier stipends: Direct-to-carrier stipend is an alternative where the employee is assigned with the responsibility of buying their own device and carrier service. The employees are provided with the monthly credit and most of the responsibilities of the organization is taken away. The organization saves most of the monetary funds by using this option as the amount of the credit is based on the role of the employee and the organization pays just the portion of employee‘s phone bill. A large amount of devices and operating systems have access to organization’s network but the support from within the organization and risk management are highly difficult to get a handle on. 

Conclusion 

BYOD has various advantages and disadvantages, but implementing it and making it as a good fit for a company wholly depends upon the particular organization. It is always better to be well accustomed to the pros and cons before taking a decision. You should have the following to implement a successful BYOD program: A definite BYOD policy with the defined security policy. An IT overhead to provide assistance to various devices. The infrastructure scalability to handle network traffic. If circumstances permits then BYOD is a great initiative to be implemented in an organization. This initiative allows overall growth of the employee and even increases the productivity of the organization. It encourages the young generation of the 21st century to be successful in the rapidly growing global society. 

References 

  • U. a. A. S. Vignesh, ‘Modifying security policies towards BYOD’, Procedia Computer Science, pp. 511-516, 5 2015. 
  • A. a. P. F. F. Hovav, ‘This is my device! Why should I follow your rules? Employees’ compliance with BYOD security policy’, Pervasive and Mobile Computing, pp. 35-49, 2016. 
  • J. Shaw and P. Seidler. Organic electronics: Introduction. IBM Journal of Research and Development, 45(1):3–10, 2001 
  • M. a. W. P. a. S. R. O. Ratchford, ‘BYOD Security Risks and Mitigations’, Information Technology-New Generations, pp. 193-197, 2018. 
  • https://solutionsreview.com/mobile-device-management/3- alternatives-to-byod-for-2017/ 
  • https://info.hummingbirdnetworks.com/blog/are-youaware- of-these-byod-advantages-and-disadvantages 
  • https://www.1rti.com/the-advantages-disadvantages-of- byod/ 
  • https://www.bookwidgets.com/blog/2016/11/what-is-byod- 14-pros-and-cons 
  • https://www.manageengine.com/mobile-device- management/what-is-mdm.html 

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