BYOD: What to Expect in 2015

Bring your own device (BYOD) is officially mainstream.

Although just a third of employees use their own smartphones for work-related activities now, that figure is expected to rise to over 60 per cent by 2020.

As 2015 approaches, the question is not only “What will BYOD look like in 2015?” It’s also, “How will BYOD change business practices in 2015?”

As David Willis, a vice president at Gartner, said: “[BYOD] brings more variety, but it also adds a bit of chaos.” Below are four ways BYOD will disrupt business practices in the coming year:

1. The growth of cyber liability insurance

Cyber liability insurance protects businesses against data breaches, which will become an increasingly common risk with the growth of BYOD.

Cyber liability insurance is designed to help companies protect themselves against everything from a lost laptop to a young child dropping and breaking an employee’s smartphone.

Right now, business owners may not be familiar with cyber liability insurance, but it will soon become mainstream, as more and more reports of data breaches and their costs to businesses hit the news.

2. The convergence of information and application management

Traditionally, mobile device management has been divided into two categories: Mobile application management (MAM) and mobile information management (MIM).

In 2014, though, these two separate areas were converged under one umbrella, enterprise mobility management (EMM).

Though EMM is still in its infancy, it will mature throughout 2015. And though EMM makes things easier for businesses in many ways, it also presents a new set of challenges.

As it does, the line between information security and application security will be blurred.

3. New employee recruiting and retention incentives

Businesses are increasingly using BYOD as a perk to attract and retain new employees.

According to a Samsung survey, companies are not limiting BYOD to high-level executives. In their survey, 80 per cent of support and line-level employees were allowed to use their personal devices for work, and 94 per cent of non-executive managers were extended the option.

Since being able to use their personal device is especially important to millennials, this will become a standard incentive offered to young prospective and current employees.

4. Bring your own data

One of the most significant – and potentially disconcerting – changes BYOD will bring in 2015 concerns employee privacy.

Gartner’s research this year showed that by 2016, about a third of all BYOD policies will seek to leverage employee’s personal information, applications and social connections for business purposes.

And since people already regularly hand over personal details to tech behemoths like Google and Facebook, it’s not too difficult to imagine employees offering up personal details to their own employers – especially if there is an incentive involved.

If companies begin paying enough, BYOD may not just stand for “bring your own device.” It may come to mean “bring your own data.”

BYOD is bringing change

BYOD has been steadily growing for the past few years, and it will continue to increase throughout 2015.

And at this point, it has reached a critical mass. As it becomes even more prevalent in 2015, BYOD will significantly alter the way businesses operate.

The new year will see BYOD affect everything from insurance and information management to employee retention and privacy.

Does your company have a BYOD policy in place? Do you plan to implement one in 2015?

Abby Perkins writes about jobs, workplace culture and business solutions at Talent Tribune, a Software Providers blog.