When tech trends hit the showroom floor at tech conferences and expos, they either stick or become a laughable afterthought. The first time technophiles laid eyes on the USB flashdrive, in 2004, it’s possible they couldn’t imagine storing 4 GB of data on something that was the size of a paperclip, but the trend prevailed and Kingston recently unveiled its 1 TB flash drive. The newest flash drive doesn’t have a reported price tag, but the company is charging $1750 for their 512 GB flash drive.
The latest IT trend is BYOD or “Bring Your Own Device” because it allows employees to use their own laptops, smartphones and tablets in the workplace. While many employees find this trend to be convenient and favorable, there are still some IT professionals and data recovery analysts who are concerned that the trend can present high levels of risk in possible data loss and security breaches. Convenience and flexibility have always proven to be good elements in any corporate philosophy or business model, but will the risks prevent this trend from sticking?
Bob Lewis, of Infoworld.com, says the BYOD trend is here to stay, because its benefits seem to be outweighing its detractors. On the other hand, Vance McCarthy, of iDevNews.com says BYOD could ignite issues for IT professionals in areas of data recovery.
Look at the Variables
Using a formula to tell whether or not a BYOD can last and whether it can survive in the workplace, Lewis takes a look at three variables in the world of BYOD: customer vs. consumer, affordability and disruption. After inspecting BYOD under these variables, Lewis concluded that disruption was the only obstacle standing in the way of the BYOD trend’s success. Factors such as data recovery, security breaches and data loss, have been deterrents for some IT managers, but Lewis doesn’t believe employees using their own devices for work purposes will increase these risks. He thinks the integration of devices with a company’s database is usually limited to company email, directory and calendar systems, so there isn’t a barrier preventing BYOD from working. As for security, if IT has the proper online backup software in place and an effective data encryption code applied to files that are private, this can be a good solution to security breaches and the fear of stolen data.
While Vance McCarthy believes BYOD has the potential to be a beneficial trend, that can work for employees and IT professionals, he does acknowledge it’s only possible with extra data recovery protection and encryption in place. In a study taken by the Kroll OnTrack, 80 percent of devices in the workplace were reported to have required data recovery services, whereas only 20 percent of the desktops in the same company needed data recovery. As a solution to the data loss issue, Kroll OnTrack advises CIOs should add a data recovery system, encryption that will make data worthless to the hacker who steals the data, and data destruction to their mobile IT plan for all employees who use their personal devices for work purposes.
The IT transformation has just begun. Steve Jobs said, “You have to break a few eggs to start a revolution.” If you want to start a revolution, break all the eggs you want. But if you want to run a successful company, handle your IT transitions with care. Consider all of the variables and then move forward.