BYOD - Implications for Businesses and VoIP
What is BYOD?
BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is a new and interesting trend in enterprise IT. Until now, the IT department prescribed the software and hardware to be used by employees throughout the organization. But the increasing use of smart phones and tablets at home has encouraged employees to expect the same quality of service and applications in their business environment as well. Rather than wait for the IT department to update software and/or buy new hardware, workers prefer to bring and use their own personal devices in the office.
The BYOD movement can be very beneficial for a business – employees are able to work effectively without the company having to make additional capital investments. When workers use personal devices, it reduces the expenses for a company since they no longer have to provide work phones. Employees are more productive when they can use applications they are comfortable with (reducing the need for extensive training) and it allows them to keep working from remote locations.
How it Impacts VoIP
However it also has much broader implications on businesses, especially when it comes to interaction with other enterprise systems such as VoIP. With VoIP, the business phone system and the data network are one and the same. The increasing prevalence of data breaches and hacking incidents put additional pressure on IT departments with regards to security, a situation exacerbated by BYOD trends. Employee devices cannot be subject to the same security policies as enterprise devices and there are more opportunities for them to be lost or stolen. This can result in criminals getting access to confidential company data or even worse, gaining control of the business phone network.
Apart from security, other concerns include IT support and loss of control. Previously, the IT department could easily provide support for the limited number of device types but now, US based business VoIP software must be made to work on hundreds of disparate devices. Phone calls may stop working at crucial junctures and IT personnel may not be able to solve some issues immediately. Maintaining call quality across different devices and network connections will also be increasingly difficult.
Nevertheless, quite a few enterprises facing these issues have opted to work towards implementing solutions rather than stop employees from using their personal devices in the office. Though large companies in specific industries requiring greater regulatory compliance may hold off on encouraging BYOD, many others are backing this new trend as it allows employees to work more productively and effectively.