Engineers: It's BYOD for Life

Not Adams Smith, Tocqueville, or even Milton Friedman himself could have predicted how electronic consumerism would transform the workplace.

The affordability of smart devices has made them an invaluable part of the employee repertoire. The number of people with smartphones will only increase. For this reason, the concept of "bring your own device" (BYOD) is causing every type of business to do some restructuring for the sake of security.

Computers or smart devices facilitate the work of most jobs, but a few professions have evolved completely alongside this technology. Engineers must work with computers to design, research, and have access to vital systems information at all times in order to verify worker safety, maintenance, and find solutions to problems in a timely manner. Undoubtedly, the practice of engineering itself will evolve with the development of BYOD as companies look to become self-sufficient.

The trend is clear. The consulting firm Ovum surveyed 4,000 full-time employees and found that 70 percent use their own smart devices to access corporate information. The enterprise WiFi access firm, iPass, also reported that out of 1,200 enterprise workers surveyed around the world, one third are continuously using their devices year-round, using personal services like Skype, etc, to make conference calls and access data. The report by iPass, the Mobile Workforce, said this ever-present connection translates to an additional 20 hours of work being done for free by employees.

The fact that employees never disconnect their devices is where the extra time is picked up. MW stated the 92 percent of people who remain online afterhours and on vacation are "content... [with] the job flexibility." In fact, their survey found people would like even greater freedom in the workplace. A study by Fortinet, of workers in their 20s, also discovered that this generation is willing to fight for using their smart devices at work, something they see as a right and not a privilege.

Privacy and security are the main concerns with the BYOD movement. These studies have also exposed that IT departments are ineffective, oblivious, or simply ignoring the fact that all these extra network connections pose a security risk for malware infecting their systems or data being lost or stolen. But, BYOD helps the bottom line (profit) and is so well received by workers that others are calling for IT departments to simply focus on developing adequate strategies and policies that promote each business's goals and offer interoperability between devices instead of policing workers. Furthermore, the BYOD trend is helping some businesses expand as they launch services and products to assess and secure companies' networks.

Antivirus developer Symantec is offering the App Center Ready Program to help developers build trusted apps specifically for their business. Their Mobility Solution Specialization Program is available to oversee networks as well as single mobile devices, and manages their applications and provides mobile security.

The company Syncplicity is also offering Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools for IT administrators in case of lost or stolen devices. In these events, Syncplicity services can instantly and remotely wipe the entire memory of a device or simply the files of interest.

Force 3 is another company providing services to help BYOD adoption. They offer complete network and security assessments, Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and collaboration workshops, real-time end-point discovery or intelligence of connected devices, gap analysis, high level roadmaps, and asset discovery reports.

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