How BYOD can be as fun as BYOB

Let’s face it: Asking a person to carry around two devices all the time, one for work and one for play, is just inefficient. When organizations implement overbearing management or ignore privacy concerns, they almost force users to carry a device for work and a device for personal use.

While a few employees may enjoy the air-gap separation of church and state, most people buckle under the stress of having two separate devices to potentially forget in a cab or leave on the airport bathroom sink (true story!).


If IT could let users choose their devices, then manage the corporate data while protecting personal privacy, employees could use the one device they are most productive on — making everyone happy.

That’s why bring your own device policies are trending hard at companies everywhere — and why everybody is searching for a perfect BYOD solution.

From a business perspective, allowing employees to use their own devices for work makes a lot of sense. A Cisco study (.pdf) found that U.S. workers save an average of 81 minutes per week by using their personal devices for work (the hours it took me to catch a flight back to New York to recover my phone may have skewed the data).

A secure solution for BYOD

Traditionally, BYOD policies have been hard on IT departments, whose job it is to secure company data while making sure employees can do their work easily. These two mandates often come into conflict, and there are also privacy considerations to keep in mind when managing an employee-owned device.

Fortunately, AirWatch makes it easy to secure and manage employees’ personal devices while giving them the tools they need to be productive. IT isn’t forced to choose between security and productivity.

Using AirWatch to manage employees’ devices also brings a welcome side benefit: It switches an IT department’s most common reply from a firm-but-annoying, “No, you can’t do that” to a staff-pleasing, “Yes! Let’s make it happen!”

Employees can easily switch between personal and work applications, and features like per-app VPN and managed open-in ensure that data isn’t shared between work and personal apps. IT can track work apps, making sure all corporate data is protected. And to protect users, no personal apps are tracked. Only corporate data can be wiped, and users can opt out at any time. It’s an employee-first solution that just happens to be business-first as well.

The BYOD balancing act

When employees are more productive, they’re more satisfied. And in practice, BYOD means having business tools when and where they need them for on-the-go convenience. In fact, 42 percent of employees who use their own devices for work report an increase in productivity, according to a study by BT Global Services.

“But what about work-life balance?” your employees might ask. “Won’t this mean I’m working all the time?”

Just like the increasingly popular cloud-based collaboration platform Slack, productivity apps and company information on personal devices makes it easy to work too much. But BYOD itself is not the cause. Most employees view BYOD as a perk — allowing them to work when they need to without complications.

As long as work expectations are set by employers and managers, BYOD can be an unmitigated win. That’s one reason 90 percent of all U.S. employees use their personal device for work purposes, according to that Cisco study.

Give AirWatch a try for free

If you’re thinking AirWatch might be a good fit for your company, you don’t have to go it alone. The strategy of keeping solutions “consumer simple” and also “enterprise secure” has led to VMware’s award-winning Privacy First program to help educate end-users and build trust. The company’s free and instructive enterprise mobility management webinar features AirWatch gurus who will show you exactly why BYOD is no longer about device management, but managing the data that flows to and from those devices.