Categories: Business / Developers / Mobile Apps

We’ve all experienced the blurring of our work and personal lives thanks to technology. It began with hefty work laptops and the company Blackberry. But those days are long gone. Most companies today have BOYD – Bring Your Own Device – policies, where staff use their own laptops, smartphones or tablets for work purposes. According to Ovum, about 48% of employees now do so.

What are the pros and cons of BYOD?

BYOD isn't just for mobile app developers.

BYOD isn’t just for mobile app developers.

According to Crowd Research Partners, the main reasons for the proliferation of BYOD are employee mobility, satisfaction and productivity. Allowing BYOD streamlines employees’ devices, and allows them to work comfortably on a device they’re familiar with.

On the flipside, company security and employee privacy are concerns for employers, and with reason. One in five organizations have suffered a mobile security breach due to malware or compromised wifi, and the security threats associated with BYOD are chewing up IT and helpdesk resources.

What are companies using BYOD for?

Email, calendars and contact management tools comprise the biggest use of BYOD, especially now that many email clients now include browsers and document editing functionality. Other uses include productivity and video conferencing apps. At the enterprise level, bespoke line-of-business (LOB) apps created for a particular company or business development unit are popular. Access to the company intranet, file sharing and SaaS apps are also common uses.

What are the security policies around BYOD?

BYOD is widespread throughout business.

BYOD is widespread throughout business.

The widespread use of BYOD does bring with it its risks. It’s not just employees that are supported through BYOD. Some companies provide access to contractors, suppliers, partners and even customers. This is concerning when you realize that many employers don’t provide BYOD support, and that many have only simple approaches to security, with basic password protection being the most common. Alarmingly, only 38% of organizations wipe devices when an employee leaves or when a device is discarded.

What does this mean for mobile app developers?

The ubiquity of BYOD represents a key opportunity for mobile app developers. Companies are increasingly looking for custom, in-house app-based solutions that increase productivity and mobility. However, with security a continuing concern, mobile developers can stand out from the crowd by ensuring that their mobile apps are secure from external threats.

Approaches such as containerization and multi-factor authentication can help with this. Additionally, with 30% of companies increasing their security budgets in 2017, there’s also scope to budget for increased security.

Mobile app developers can also work with companies to develop policies to ensure sensitive data remains protected. For example, encryption and mobile data erasure software are invaluable for lost, stolen or end-of-life devices. Mobile device management (MDM) tools, endpoint security tools and network access controls (NAC) can also help safeguard company data.

BYOD isn’t going anywhere, and developers should get in on the action bearing in mind the above. Those who address the security issues raised by BYOD policies can add plenty of much-needed extra value to their apps – and their clients.

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Touchtap is a mobile development agency specializing in mobile development. Learn how to get mobile applications developed.

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