It turns out that “bring your own device,” or BYOD—the concept that employees use their personal devices like iPads or smartphones for work—is so 2013.
IT experts have coined a new phrase: BYOS, bring your own software.
Now that employers have embraced the idea of letting employees use their personal devices, they are now questioning whether they should also let them use the same software programs that they use in their personal lives, according to NPR’s Marketplace.
It’s a workplace trend that’s already happening whether employers like it or not. Many employees are forgoing the Microsoft Word on their work computers and instead turning to Google Docs. They’re using their personal Dropbox to transfer and store big files instead of FTPing the company server.
In the past, employees would have to ask their IT department when they wanted software. But now so much is readily available online, and often for free. And Silicon Valley is churning out a bevy of new productivity and communication tools and apps that are relevant to people both in their personal and their work lives, which is only likely to speed up the BYOS trend.
Some experts are broadening the definition of BYOS even further to mean “bring your own stuff” to work, whether that’s smart glasses like Google Glass or other hot consumer gadgets that can have workplace uses.
Like BYOD, BYOS has the potential to save employers time and money. They don’t have to buy expensive software programs or train employees how to use them because employees already use these programs regularly on their own.
But it can also pose some serious data-security risks. Already small businesses grapple with BYOD because it’s harder to secure and prevent data breaches on an employee's personal devices. Imagine the IT security risks when employees use their personally downloaded software programs or apps for work.
“If you think smartphones present challenges when it comes to management and security, what are we supposed to do when executives want to access corporate data from their connected cars?” writes Mike Jennett of InformationWeek.
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