BYOD – What It Means To Small Business
We have all heard the term BYOD, but what does it mean to your Small Business? BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, can have a positive impact on productivity while reducing the overall costs of IT. Many folks understand "how" it reduces costs by allowing employees to bring in their Devices to use in your environment. Of course that saves you money when you are not buying IT Equipment. Particularly, in today's time where the consumers (employees) are buying better devices than they use at work. This also applies to Cell Phones, an employee will stand in line for several hours waiting to get the latest Cell Phone for personal use. Leveraging these "employee owned devices" in your business is exactly what BYOD is about.
The real question then becomes, "How do I leverage these devices in my Business?"If you have a Windows Server 2008 or higher in your environment you may already have what you need to make this a reality for your small business. Many companies are already utilizing Microsoft Remote Desktop to access applications and data remotely with success and it is a decent solution. But as we say here, that is so Windows 2003! Microsoft has forged ahead with a better way to present applications and data to remote users – RemoteApp's. What is even better, they do not care what device you are using.
We have a customer who uses a Java application that requires a specific version of Java. When the Java Application requires a new version of to be installed, they had to upgrade 155 Desktops overnight. We were able to implement RemoteApp's from Microsoft to present their Java Application to end users on Windows, Android, and Apple devices. This enabled the customer to perform one Java upgrade and present that to the 155 Desktops. Production went up from there as the application was readily available and much easier to access allowing them to react immediately when they received questions or orders. This promotes a workplace wellness that their customers were able to recognize by the productivity increase. This is an SSL based solution that is secure and allows us to serve up applications such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Office to Android Tablets and iPads!
Ultimately the question is "How do I secure my data on their devices?"Security is really twofold.First off, we are now able to partition the User base to access only the application(s) they are authorized to use. Secondly, the Data lives and breathes on the Business environment and not on the end user devices. All Data is affectively quarantined to that environment which allows us to secure the business's resources and deny access when needed with a simple click of a button. Overall, this requires less IT resources to manage, lowers the cost of IT Equipment, and enhances productivity through availability. There is always the costs of the initial setup, but we feel the ROI is there waiting for Small Businesses!