Imagine if every time you switched between having a personal or a work conversation you had to change your jacket. Husband or wife calling you? Quick, put on your “personal” jacket. Need to ask the boss something? Back to the work one, sharpish. Forgot to bring your professional jacket with you to the office? Looks like you won’t be having any work-related conversations today then. Sound nuts? Yeah – it would be.
And yet so many offices effectively have this policy when it comes to technological devices. They issue “work” phones and “work” laptops, and tell you that using them for anything personal is a misdemeanor. You might already have a perfectly good smartphone that you use for everything and can work at twice the speed (and, perhaps, are already worried enough about losing), but get caught opening a work document on it and that’s a slap on the wrist for you. Need to fire off a quick text to a friend and then make an important call to a client? You’ll have to switch phones first. Left your work laptop in the office by accident? You can’t finish going through that vital document on the train home after all.
On the face of it, there’s a good reason for this split-personality approach to tech. Keeping your clients’ data safe is, and should be, a major priority. Your IT department needs to know that they can control the security perimeters and shield you against hackers, viruses and other malicious intent. Typically, that means they need to keep a tight grip on any and every device that your work documents and communications might trickle onto.
But the downsides are huge. Does it limit your productivity? Almost certainly. Does it frustrate your team? I’m going to bet it does. And most importantly: does it actually work?
When a system slows people down enough, they will cut corners. Your IT team might be great at what they do – their rules might be a paragon of good sense. But will you always stick to them? Probably not, if you’re totally honest.
The fact is that most people vastly prefer BYOD solutions to being provided with a work phone and laptop. And when BYOD is so popular, why fight against the tide? Far better to look for a solution that works with it, rather than against it.
Rather than run the risk of having your employees access sensitive data on unsecured personal devices, why not invest in industry leading technology like Citrix XenMobile, which allows your IT department to securely deploy and manage mobile devices, apps and data remotely.
Employees have access to all the corporate apps, email and data that they need to do their jobs, plus the ability to securely share and collaborate on files. And they can do all of this from any device they choose; effectively, they take the security with them wherever they go.
In fact, the benefits of BYOD for UK law firms are huge.
First, of course, you save the cost of buying new smartphones and laptops for every new employee. By making it easier for your team to be always-on and responsive, you boost productivity and improve both internal communications and your level of service for clients. Half the number of devices means half the chance of having an important piece of kit stolen, or accidentally left behind.
Plus, because the Citrix XenMobile approach is handled centrally, the team always has automatic access to the latest version of all programs and apps, meaning that they don’t switch between different versions when they switch devices: it’s consistent, intuitive and incredibly easy to use.
By introducing BYOD, UK firms can streamline working practices for their teams while actually saving money. They can reducing pressure and uncertainty for their IT teams, allowing them to crack on with bigger, more strategic projects instead of wasting time telling off their colleagues for something that often feels as daft as wearing the wrong jacket at the wrong time.
BYOD solutions present a fantastic opportunity to modernise your business practices – just make sure you’re doing it the right way, using top-of-the-range technology to keep your clients’ data safe and your team as industrious as they can be.