Sample Technology Paper on Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device

Technology trends and devices change faster than many companies and institutions can keep up, to cater especially for employees and students who are tech savvy. With more employees, government officials and students adopting new technology faster than their managers and institutions can cope, a new trend has surfaced; bring your own device (BOYD). This encompasses other related policies such as bring your own technology (BYOT), which encourage employees to bring and use their own technology in accessing corporate information, sending and receiving both personal and corporate mail right on their own devices (ICO 4). The purpose of this initiative has been to increase productivity and reduce the cost for companies, especially on purchase of new devices, which are obviously expensive (Evans n.d.). Notable, however is that with such freedom, companies tend to both benefits become vulnerable. It is for this reason that a BOYD policy is necessary for protection of corporate data and image, while at the same time allowing employees to use their own devices.

            Part of the zealon BYOD is the growing self-sufficiency in IT amid workers who already possess and use their devices. The beauty of these new devices is the fact that that they are usually newer, have advanced capability such as speed, resolution and other technical features than most of those deployed by the company (Evans n.d.). In schools and other learning institutions, the situation is the same where students have better devices than those provided by the institution. Additionally, schools view the idea of allowing students to bring devices they are already familiar with as a cornerstone to encouraging classroom participation (Bruder 15).

            Additionally, the driver of the current trend is the increasingly younger generation of employees with different perspectives on technology. Their new perspective, being comfortable with working with their set of technology, influences most work communication (The Economic Times n.p.). As they bring their new gadgets to work, these employees expect that the organizations will support them, especially in accessing organizational resources such as file servers, the network and databases. Even more of a driving force toward the adoption of the BYOD initiative is the transitioning of employee mobility from a convenience to a necessity (Fiorenza 12).

Yet more organizations are catching up with the idea, and are trying as best as they can to stem out the trend. More of these organizations are investing in new technologies that bring the latest in hardware and software. Mostly, this move is an attempt to provide certified hardware and software, and be able to control these devices in the hands of employees (Evans n.d.). This is however; a futile attempt according to Evans, given that even without the organization’s planning, employees will bring their own devices. A similar fear is in academic institutions, which see the devices as mere distractions for students, given the propensity of students to visit social networking sites (Bruder 15). The best approach here therefore is to understand the benefits, demerits and risks posed by these devices, as well as developing a BOYD policy to help protect organizations’ data and image.

One of the driving factors, as seen, towards the adoption of BYOD is the need among employees to use the latest in technological hardware and software applications.  The cost of upgrading both hardware and software for organizations can be astronomical, something that most organizations cannot afford. However, with the trend towards BYOD, the cost of buying the hardware and software applications conveniently shift to the employees. Workers herein pay for the cost of the hardware, voice and other miscellaneous expenses on the devices (Bradley, n.p.). According to Bradley, this saves organizations close to $960 annually. The savings made from none purchase of hardware and software upgrades for the organizations can help in other areas that require funding (Fiorenza 13). At the same breath, with students bringing their own devices to school, institutions can redirect funding intended for purchase of new hardware to other more demanding technology such as networking, which can help in provision of better connection within the institution (Bruder 15).

Using devices they are well conversant with gives employees ore freedom and choice. This use allows employees more flexibility in their work, rather than the confinement of using standard organization issued devices (The Economic Times n.p).By them using their own devices, employees’ productivity increases given that they are capable of responding to requests faster (Fiorenza 13). Relatedly, employees using their own devices have higher job satisfaction; these workers own the tablets and other devices for a reason—they are their devices of choice—to even have invested in them (Bradley n.p.). Therefore, employees would rather use the devices that are up to their specifications than the standard issued devices, which may even slow them down. Using their own devices therefore leads to greater job satisfaction than the standard company issues (Bradley n.p.).

By allowing the use of their own devices, organizations open themselves a wider world of opportunities. Most employees would go for the latest cutting-edge technology in the market. Organizations therefore get to sample and even use the new technology at the employees’ cost (Bradley n.p.). The employees, through sharing of their experiences, can point the organization towards the best product in case the organization is thinking of upgrading their hardware, software or system; discover any advantages and faults of any of the latest technology. Organizations are therefore capable of making informed choices on the products to choose having firsthand experience from the employees.Even more is that with the slow upgrading circles of organizations, employees get to sample the latest technology long before the organization upgrades (Bradley n.p.).

For academic institutions, both students and teachers enjoy the benefits of BYOD, as it is much easier for students conduct their research on their devices. These devices give students flexibility in time and place of conducting their research, instead of the opening and closing time confinements of most institutional libraries (Bruder 15). The freedom extends to educators who can organize active assignments, research on their lessons, and even grade students’ assignments at their own time and comfort (Bruder 15). Even more is that with cloud computing, both teachers and students can store their assignments in the cloud, allowing them to access the information from any device at any time. Both students and educators can easily interact with using their devices, allowing for a more comprehensive and extensive feedback system between the students and the educators.

Employees easily keep abreast with the latest information in their line of work using their own devices.  By using these devices, employees can grow their business network, which makes them available for any openings, both business and social, in addition to making them flexible given that they can access this information across multiple devices (The Economic Times n.p.). This gives employees freedom and ability to collaborate on projects, an advantage that is also transferred to students who can collaborate on assignments through interactive sites as well as using the multimedia capabilities of their devices such as cameras, audio and video recording and sharing (Fiorenza 16).

The dangers and disadvantages involved in BYOD are huge and diversified. One of the major concerns is on security of the data accessed and stored on the employees’ devices (Evans n.p.). the sensitivity of corporate information makes any loss of the device, and therefore access of the corporate information inside the device with little or no security a major risk in using  own devices for accessing and storing corporate information (ICO 4).

Moreover, there is the possibility that other people, apart from the employee, handle the devices used for accessing corporate data. Family, friends and even spouses usually have access to these devices, which invariably opens opportunity for data breaches (Evans n.p.). Any form of data breach from these parties can have far-reaching effects on not only the company’s performance, but also the company’s image, incase trade secrets and damaging information leaks to competitors and the public respectively. Moreover, given that the devices belong to the employee, it is tricky to dictate what constitutes an acceptable use of their own devices, as it would be the case with company issues devices (Bradley n.p.).

Personal devices, with minimal or absence of security features such as firewalls can be avenues of corporate attacks. Employees are likely to visit questionable sites while on the corporate network, which then makes them vulnerable to hacker attacks, which jeopardize corporate security. Furthermore, with the use of the personal devices for both business and social use, the line blurs, and given that, the IT department may not have control over sites that employees visit (Bradley n.p.), employees are likely to spend more time on their social lives than on official business. This, by extension, is a concern by educators for students who would engage in social media chatting, playing games or surfing for pornography instead of doing academic work (Bruder 16).

These concerns therefore prompt the establishment of BYOD policy for both employees and students.  Such policies should clearly outline the rules of engagement for personal device usage at the workplace and in the institution (Bradley n.p.). Such policy should include an Acceptable Use Policy, which outlines responsibility and accountability in the use of personal devices at the workplace or institution (CIO 6). For corporations, investing in BYOD solutions already available and include sandboxing, remote wipe, encryption and use of passcodes help secure data in employee personal devices (Evans n.p.).

Additionally, the policy should include retrieval and destruction of data for instances when employees cease to work for an organization. The policy should clearly spell out how the organization should retrieve the data, and the role of the employee in facilitating the retrieval of the data (Bradley n.p.). It is important that both the employees and the employer agree on the details of the policy, as well as on remedial measures in the event of breaches, loss of device or termination of employment.

BYOD shows a lot of promise for organizations and institutions. The advantage of BYOD transcends organizations to academic institutions for educator-student, educator-educator and student-student collaborations. Although many organizations consider it a risk, it opens the organization for a wide range of opportunities. It is therefore a trend that organizations should consider adopting, although with care by putting effective policies and BYOD solutions in place.

Work cited

“‘Bring Your Own Device’ at Workplace: The Pros and Cons of the New Trend Jobs].” The Economic Times (Online)Jun 14 2012. ProQuest.Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Bradley, Tony. “Pros and Cons of Bringing Your Own Device to Work.”PC World 20 December 2011. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Bruder, Patricia. “GADGETS GO TO SCHOOL: The Benefits and Risks of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).” The Education Digest 80.3 (2014): 15-8. ProQuest.Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Evans, Dean. “What is BYOD and why is it important?” Techradar 23 August 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Fiorenza, Pat. “Mobile Technology Forces Study of Bring Your Own Device.” Public Manager 42.1 (2013): 12-4. ProQuest.Web. 11 Nov. 2014.

Information Communication Office.Bring Your Own Device. ICO n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.