Increasing numbers of small and medium-sized businesses are adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to provision their employees, but this decision has large implications when it comes to the type of IT services that such companies will need. Although every business is at least slightly different, some common trends are already clear in terms of the challenges that a BYOD approach poses once employees become used to high mobility.
One of the largest challenges in the BYOD world is the fact that SMBs will now need to provide access and security to devices that were not designed with the business world in mind. Consumer-grade devices may not even be equipped by default with the full, professional versions of standard operating system software. Many of the newer, smaller netbooks, for example, come with Windows 7 Starter pre-installed. Windows 7 Starter lacks certain advanced features that can be useful in a business setting.
Incorporating such consumer-grade devices into a business environment may therefore need a comprehensive technology assessment to determine what is currently loaded on the machine so that needed augmentations can be taken care of in a timely manner. A good IT services solution to accomplishing this task is through managed programs, in which an expert visits your company premises on a regular basis to take care of these kinds of tasks.
As employees become more mobile, due to a BYOD policy, they may begin to use the company network to the exclusion of other types of information. Assuming a worker has instant access to an internet-connected device, it is often faster and more accurate to Google for information than to seek it out via sources that are more traditional. When this is multiplied by the number of employees participating in a BYOD program, the result can be a strain on infrastructure due to increased bandwidth. At that point, mission-critical programs may be impacted negatively by slower connection speeds.
An IT services expert can install software that will monitor bandwidth consumption so that owners and managers can make informed decisions about changes that may be needed in terms of both physical hardware and internet service itself.
IT security is a looming issue when transitioning to a BYOD model. When mobile devices access company data, it may remain on the device even when the hardware leaves the company premises. Therefore SMBs are advised to adopt strong encryption techniques.