Findings from our research

What impact has GDPR had on BYOD?

By El Cook, Marketing Executive

Having access to company data and files from anywhere on any device is so ingrained in many people’s workflows that it's hard to remember a time before Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) came about.

It’s convenient for end users but difficult to manage. The IT departments responsible for looking after it have a lot to contend with. Keeping on top of apps and operating systems, monitoring device security, and ensuring users follow procedure isn’t an easy task, but so far organisations have somehow made it work.

But we wondered - given recent policy changes, could BYOD's days be numbered?

The GDPR came into force last month, causing organisations to re-think and sometimes overhaul their processes. Maintaining and policing compliance on devices where both company and personal data is stored and accessed is tricky, so an easy way to avoid a GDPR headache would be to limit BYOD.

The question is: has this happened?

We interviewed 100 IT decision makers in the UK to see, and the findings aren’t at all what we were expecting.

Amongst those we spoke to, there hasn’t been a drop in the percentage of employees using their own devices to access company data, and the majority of organisations are still allowing BYOD.

Even though there's no obvious crackdown on personal device use, something that has changed over the past year is that attitudes have become more strict. Companies are now much more likely to be monitoring what devices, apps and services employees are using to access company files and data more closely than ever before.

As they’ve already invested so much time and effort into creating a policy that works for them, GDPR has simply caused organisations to re-visit their existing policies and make sure they’re adhered to. It’s acted as a great reminder that standards need to be upheld. Organisations will have to consider why BYOD was introduced, if that use-case still exists, and whether everyone should benefit from it or if it’s just a perk for certain trusted employees.

It’s pretty clear that for the foreseeable future BYOD will still be a thing. For tech marketers this is good news, especially for those in organisations that have invested in making their products andservices available across multiple devices. Being able to offer customers a seamless and more flexible experience is a great selling point, but the way organisations think about how services work is changing.

They are likely to be questioning if these products and services can make it simple for users to remain GDPR compliant, are easy to monitor and keep up-to-date, and how they’re kept secure across multiple platforms.

This doesn’t just affect the people tech marketers are trying to sell to, either. It could have an impact on how tech marketers work day-to-day themselves. What devices, apps, and third-party services are marketers using that their organisation’s policy might not allow?

Luckily, it’s likely they’ll be able to continue using personal devices, but things might not be as simple as they used to be.