The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)
Business organizations have traditionally provided employees with all the required tools and equipment that they need to perform their jobs; this has been true for large organizations since people started, well, organizing. But for smaller organizations that do not have the money to provide their people with everything, the employees bring their own tools of the trade. This is also true for speciality trades like carving and carpentry or any crafting profession; though the shop might provide the tools, most craftsmen bring their own because they are more comfortable with them.
At present, companies provide all employees with the tools, usually computers and various office supplies, to do their work. And bringing your own devices are even considered as illegal for security reasons, especially for consumer and technology-centered industries. Employers are afraid that their data would be stolen and sold to competitors, and there really is no other way to stop this other than enforcing a “what is for the office stays in the office” policy. But with the internet, cloud computing, and the workshifting and service outsourcing or freelancing that came with it, it is now general practice for “outsourcees” or freelancers to provide their own tools of the trade. Besides, it’s not efficient for a company to send a laptop to the other side of the world for a freelancer to use and have him return it after the contract ends. BYOD in this case is essential.
But why is there a Bring-Your-Own-Device Revolution going on and you are not hearing about it? It is not a revolution per say, but a slow and steady change. The only reason that employers provide everything is because of security and secrecy and simply because just less than a decade ago, very few people own laptops or any kind of personal computers. That has changed in the last five years where we saw a great change in the consumer electronic market, everything just became cheaper and accessible to the middle class and as a result almost everyone has a cell phone or a laptop, in one form or another.
Cloud Computing’s role in this revolution is one of security. Because of services like desktop hosting which allows the entire desktop environment of your office pc to be run on any device with a large enough screen and internet connectivity, that fear of data breach has been lessened somewhat. Even if employees use their own devices for work matters, the employer is able to control which applications and what data are accessible and where, preventing it to be even saved locally, only on the cloud desktop environment. Because of this, companies are seeing the benefit of using cloud computing for security and savings. When employees bring their own devices, they can work more comfortably and the employer saves on hardware costs and maintenance while the data security issue is being handled by the cloud application. It’s a win-win situation, both employee and employer is happy. And I am talking about the normal office situation, not freelancing.
By Abdul Salam