BYOD, or bring your own device, has been a sensation since smart phones and laptops took the scene, yet no one seemed to notice until recently. The trend, sometimes referred to as the less catchy consumerization of IT, refers to employees using their own mobile devices, laptops or tablets to access corporate resources. In today’s business world, you would be hard pressed to find an employee without a smart phone, making it nearly unavoidable to stop BYOD from happening in the office. Consumers like the feeling of fast technology at their fingertips, so why should they go without while at work?

Companies that embrace BYOD can experience some serious advantages over their competitors. The most obvious of these is cost savings. Your device, your expense. Users pay for the data plans and hardware, saving companies a lot of money. In addition to this, employee satisfaction increases at the office because they are using devices they are comfortable with and want to use. And if these benefits aren’t enough, companies can reap the rewards of having workers use the latest technology devices since individuals, as opposed to IT departments, are more likely to buy the most up-to-date products.

But this trend does have a negative side, and it is certainly one to consider. Security can be a major concern at companies where workers can use their own devices to access company information and resources. It’s important for businesses to manage not only the device specific access but also the access granted to these devices. In the event that an employee leaves the company, corporate data stored on a personal device has to be retrieved, which is not always an easy feat.

If your business does not have a BYOD policy in place, it might be time to consider one since the trend does not seem to be leaving the corporate world anytime soon.

And for the employee, BYOD might make his or her life much easier. With consumers craving constant communication, this trend marries a users’ work and personal lives so they never miss a beat, no matter the time of day. For communications professionals this becomes particularly critical, as they need to remain connected at all times to all clients, especially when those clients reside in different time zones. Remote corporate access might just prevent a crisis-filled, chaotic Monday morning.

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