It might not seem like it, but smartphones have only been ubiquitous for the past five years. Before that, devices such as Handspring’s innovative Palm Treo series were too far ahead of their time to take off. The same rings true for bring your own device (BYOD), a concept that has existed for years but is only now able to be securely realised. This capability offers a tempting possibility for many businesses, as Howard Williams, marketing director of digital engagement specialist Parker Software, explains.
The last five years of development in enterprise technology has created a perfect storm, culminating in increasing interest in the idea of BYOD in workplaces. Businesses are considering this possibility as a way of extending the geographical reach of internal systems and networks, effectively streamlining the flow of data between employees, customers and even satellite offices.
Until this perfect storm, BYOD has been a pipeline idea, with relatively few employers implementing it fully, but there is now a genuine argument that it is a feasible concept. Concerns about device interoperability and security have held BYOD back, but now, due to the rise of cloud-based technologies, these are no longer a significant risk. Cloud-based software offers compatibility between all manner of devices, while cloud software-as-a-service (SaaS) makes login credentials and data as secure as they were in an office environment.
Naturally, it takes time for IT professionals and business owners to understand fully how secure this makes their data. Some decision makers still have perceived reservations about transitioning to the cloud in light of numerous infiltrations of popular cloud networks such as Apple’s iCloud. In reality, the cloud provides the same degree of security as storing documents on localised servers or computers — if a break in occurs the files are vulnerable.
Lost in transit
If there are still valid security concerns surrounding BYOD, they are the result of social engineering attacks or plain old human error. Any network incorporating personal devices faces the risk of data and files getting lost when people misplace them. Seamlessly transferring information between a mobile device and a desktop computer may seem perfect, but you can never rule out human error.
These errors can be exacerbated in fast-paced work environments. When employees begin to be inundated with new information and tasks, files can easily be left behind or not acted on in a timely fashion. Oversights such as this can quickly accumulate and spell trouble for the company.
This is where we turn to cloud-based automation software for a solution. Rather than just being a tool to make administrative tasks easier, some business automation software can be used to unify multiplatform sources. With features such as this, organising data and files in a more complex way becomes achievable and straightforward.
In a sales environment, for example, it is important that transaction details are stored on a central client database. When there are many sales to process and feedback into that database, it can be easy for an employee to forget an entire sale or an individual task within a sale. Automation software such as ThinkAutomation can prevent this, by instantaneously storing all transactions and documents in the correct place. The software can parse input data from a variety of sources and feed it back to the central output location, in this case the database.
Easy and efficient processes like this make automation software some of the most exciting technology available in a sales environment today. BYOD and cloud computing connect a multitude of devices to make interfacing with data simpler, but it is business automation software that brings the devices together so that the information is readily usable. By using the two together, businesses can implement BYOD securely and reap the competitive advantages it provides.