The Boxing Day Sales are here! The perfect time to purchase a new laptop for yourself to take to work or for your kids to use at school.

Bring your own device (BYOD) is becoming very popular in businesses and at schools. Without trying to bore you with stats, Gartner Predicts by 2017, half of the employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes (Source). As organisations and applications move to the cloud the reliance on “traditional” I.T. infrastructure will reduce and a need for flexibility and mobility will increase.

Why BYOD?

Because of the change in the way we are all working, learning and consuming, I believe, has led to greater support for BYOD, beyond mobile phones and into Laptops. BYOD can be of great benefit to an organisation, for example, increased mobility, productivity, user satisfaction and the potential to save costs, though reduced infrastructure purchases.

There are also risks in adopting a BYOD strategy. The main concerns are the security of data, lack of hardware (quality) control and issues of device support. The most effective way to determine if the risks out way the benefits of implementing a BYOD Strategy is to talk to you I.T. service provider, however, below I have to put together a list of “things to think about” to help you in deciding the best options for you.

  • Organisation –  A good starting point is to design your IT technology stack around a solution which will give you maximin flexibility and security. Cloud or hybrid solutions will typically provide this. Some examples of these solutions are Office 365 Hosting , Hosting 365 Resellers, SharePoint online, Azure, Google Apps, Amazon Web Services, Xero, MYOB and Clinic to Cloud (Just to name a few)
  • Buyer – Check the Warranty –  Accidental damage, like cracked screens and liquid on keyboards, are not covered by standard warranties. You can sometimes purchase additional cover for this, which could be worthwhile if you are a student or travel a lot. Also, your home and contents insurance may be used to get repairs done, however, please check your own policy on this.
  • Organisation – Create company policy around the devices and what is expected. Specify minimum specification of the device (eg. must have latest Operating Systems, 250GB of storage and WiFi). What a software do you require to be installed on the devices for example Anti-Virus and Malware software to be installed or Remote management software to be installed by the IT department. (NOTE: Often the Organisation will supply the required software to ensure compliance)
  • Buyer – Talk to your colleagues and look to purchase the same or similar device so you can share parts if you need too, like chargers.
  • Organisation – The line between personal and organisation can get blurred. Do you a have a computer usage policy? What is acceptable when using the BYOD at work and how organisations data is to be handled. Some points to think of are, all work related data must be saved to the cloud to work to be only done on the organisations remote desktop server, what are acceptable background images or what website are not allowed to be visited during work hours. (NOTE: A firewall on premise can help with the content filtering websites like Facebook access to be only allowed during 11:30 am – 1:30 pm)

So whether you are an organisation implementing a BYOD strategy or the buyer of a BYO device there are a number of simple things that you can do to get the most out of the opportunity.