There has been a lot of discussion about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) for the workplace.  The debates over its advantages and disadvantages have been going on and on. However, no one can argue with the IT about the security risks it potentially posts.

With devices owned by the institutions, IT department can have strong control over the software applications that are installed inside the device and runs antivirus check regularly.  This is especially important for institutions that operate their departmental or enterprise applications from the device.

Some institutions do not allow their staffs to bring the devices home due to sensitive information that may be stored in the device.

New Paradigm

Today, the definition of work device is no longer limited to PC or Laptop.  We know desktop computers are soon to be history. Tablets or mobile phones are equivalently important in the workplace due to its mobility and flexibility.

More and more software applications are going on cloud and cloud storage.  You can sign up or subscribe to cloud-based accounting software, human resource software, Microsoft Office, email and even enterprise-wide campus management system.  

This software only requires browsers to operate and they store all their data in the cloud. The providers perform the essential tasks such as scanning of viruses and backup of data.  The best part is, they are charging based on usage at a very reasonable cost. 

With cloud storage fast becoming mainstream, manufacturers have removed file transfer ports from their devices.  The only way for virus or malicious software to penetrate the devices is either through email or file sharing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google have included a virus or malware protection in their email and cloud storage services.

With the paradigm shift in technologies, the IT department can no longer hide their thirst for a complete control over an organization in the name of security. 

The Vialing Way

At Vialing, we have successfully implemented BYOD for years.  

In our office, we don’t have the distasteful scene where a stack of old laptops sitting idle – outdated, no longer in use.  Our accounting department is happy that there is no depreciation or asset to write off.  Not only that, our image has improved since because our office is dominated by the latest devices, especially Apple MacBook and Microsoft Surface.  

Almost everyone, at some point in time, will have to spend money on buying a device for home use. So,  why not make it a win-win situation for both sides? The staffs will take extra care of the device simply because it is their own. Besides, they will be working using the device they are most familiar with.

All the software we use in our workspace is cloud-based applications.  This includes O365, Xero Accounting software, human resource system, project management, software development as well as testing tools.

Every 3 years, our staffs are eligible for a 40% subsidy on their choice of laptops and mobile devices.  An instalment payment contract will be signed between Vialing and the staff according to their payment plans. We also included device upgrades such as RAM and battery as part of the subsidy. 

Vialing believes in educating the users and self-policing.  We will run regular briefings to teach essential knowledge as prevention measurement.

It is worth revisiting BYOD.