Traditionally, the use of mobile devices within an organization was standardized on one particular device – the Blackberry – but today’s user wants the option to use an Android or Apple device too. So IT has to face the challenge of the BYOD trend, supporting a wide range of personal devices, while retaining visibility of their data and user activity.  

We want to use technology at work the same way we use it at home. Employees want to use an iPad for personal and business purposes, regardless of where you are physically located. iPads and other devices are now in everyone’s hands. Corporate devices may be physically locked down and offer only IT-sanctioned apps, but today’s mobile users want to use their own devices.  

Managing BYOD  

The BYOD trend has also created challenges for IT around maintaining control. A big area for concern is the use of personal, file sharing tools, such as Dropbox. Many file sharing tools are cloud-based; they can be accessed from anywhere, not just stored on the device, and so may not be encrypted and safe from unauthorized access.

Because these are such popular tools, it’s up to IT to survey the market and find the most approved, usable, and productive tool so that users don’t feel the need to download their own personal file sharing tools.

Understanding the growing BYOD trend, Workshare offers the ability to control your data by choosing where it is stored, regardless of whether a personal or corporate device is used to access it. This is particularly important to international organizations. Our app allows you to manage data, to manually delete it at any time, and to set policies for automatic deletion after a period of time. Unsanctioned file sharing tools largely don’t offer that level of control – nor do they provide end-to-end encryption when sharing files, both on the device itself and also when sharing with someone outside your network.

To understand more about how organizations can take control over their mobile workforce, read my interview with the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel here.

Matt Brown