A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy allows employees to access work-related networks or systems using their personal devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
BYOD is not a new method of working, but its popularity has soared due to the consumer electronics market – dominated by smartphones and mobile devices. As BYOD matures, enterprise organizations have adopted formalized policies, resources, and management methods to adapt.
Here's some of the key trends have affected the BYOD landscape in 2020.
The Top BYOD Trends of 2020
1. Growth of BYOD Market Continues
It’s predicted that the global BYOD market will exceed $350bn by 2022, up from just $94bn in 2014. This is due to widespread adoption of portable devices that employees bring to work with them. And, the increasing number of businesses implementing enterprise mobility solutions that enable and encourage employees to work at anytime, anywhere, from a wide range of devices.
COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on how people work, and as a result, remote working has become the norm. We've seen more employees than ever utilising their own devices for continued remote working success while they're away from the office.
Employees find it more convenient to conduct work activities on a device that’s familiar to them. Be it by accessing work-related communication channels on their personal smartphone, or drafting business emails from their own laptop.
Studies show that this approach to working lets staff utilize the benefits of greater flexibility, collaboration, and work-life balance to improve productivity by up to 34%.
2. Enterprise BYOD Security Becomes Zero-Trust
The traditional enterprise security perimeter – once limited to private networks – has diminished to only a handful of organizations. Today’s innovative businesses enable BYOD policies to remain cutting-edge, however it’s easy to understand why employee personal devices combined with sensitive work-related networks create security risks.
A major security issue for enterprise-use personal devices is distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Most notably, reports show that instances of DDoS attacks have increased due to the shift to remote working, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This security risk highlights a significant red flag, so businesses are changing their approach.
However, determining how your IT department can control these new-found risks (and how to apply an internal policy to external devices) can become an overly-complex issue – especially as your employee device network grows unrestricted.
To tackle this, BYOD policy compliance tools have become more widely adopted. They encourage employees to use devices responsibly and support organizations to formalize management methods.
Moreover, it’s predicted that zero-trust innovations, such as artificial intelligence (AI), will enhance BYOD security management in the future. It's hoped that AI will provide automatic insights into end-user behaviour, helping identify potential security threats before they occur.
With these advances on the horizon, the global BYOD security market segment is expected to continue its growth.
3. Employee Privacy is a Greater Concern
With greater security comes closer scrutiny of company networks, and scrutiny of this data requires businesses to take a closer look at how employees use personal devices for work.
However, a BYOD policy can open a figurative rabbit-hole that blurs the line between personal and work-related data. In fact, one of the main drivers of employees resisting a BYOD policy is fear of their workplace monitoring their activity on their personal device.
In 2020, employers have overcome this by improving transparency about employee data visibility and using best-practice solutions for managing BYOD data. A BYOD management solution that ensures enterprise data stays secure while preserving end-user privacy promotes trust amongst employees, better secures your organization, and manages employee privacy concerns.
To mitigate the risk of data breaches, insecure usage, and lapses in security, employers will need to revisit their BYOD security policies, and ensure that end-user privacy is retained, while offering flexible options for employees.
4. BYOD Policies Include Employee ‘Enhancements’
Gartner predicts that by 2023 30% of IT organizations will extend their BYOD policy to cater for ‘enhancements’ in the workforce. An ‘enhancement’ is a physical augmentation, such as a smartwatch, that a worker wears in their personal life.
Growing consumer demand means employees want to capitalize on the benefits they experience from ‘enhancements’ in their day-to-day routines, including at work. For example, future office-based organizations could one day share work-related networks to their employee’s wearable, letting individual staff members see meeting invites, work emails, or time-sensitive deadlines from a smartwatch.
5. CYOD Initiatives Will Emerge
Is it a typo? No, It’s Choose Your Own Device (CYOD). Put simply, a CYOD policy enables your IT department to supply a set choice of devices for employees. This means workers use a company-owned device instead of their own, eliminating some of the security risks found in traditional BYOD.
However, CYOD can be less cost-effective. Purchasing, managing, and maintaining a network of company-owned portable devices can be costly, especially when your internal teams manage them. More so, providing a device to each member of your team can be expensive as your business grows in numbers.
Businesses can take a strategic approach to CYOD by only allocating devices to certain people. However, BYOD will still remain more inclusive, flexible, and cost-effective in the long term.
6. BYOD will Help All Businesses Be 5G-Ready
In the not too distant future, powerful 5G networks will keep employees more connected than ever, with higher data rates and lower latency – so end-users experience fewer delays.
Consumer demand for 5G has gained momentum, and employees might well already be fully-equipped with 5G-ready devices. For enterprise businesses, this lessens the financial impact of providing the latest and greatest technology for each device holder. Employees will be autonomously engaging with 5G technology in their personal lives, making it easier to fulfil your organizational 5G objectives.
How to Prepare for the Future of BYOD
To reap the benefits of BYOD, you need a large-scale approach of effectively managing employee personal devices without hindering privacy, security, or cost-management concerns.
Most importantly, your BYOD policy needs to provide incentives to encourage BYOD uptake in your business, so you can remain secure.
To learn more about how to turn these tips to a practical application, download our guide to writing your own enterprise BYOD policy.