How Choose Your Own Device could solve the problems of Bring Your Own Device

Bring Your Own Device is a very popular policy, but without vetting each device, how do you know it’s secure from hackers? Here’s why a policy of Choose Your Own Device has all of the benefits with none of the risk.

The shift to working on the move

Smartphones and other portable computing devices are becoming cheaper and more accessible than ever before. Naturally, this means it’s easier than ever to access work documents and files from wherever you are.

While this represents a huge opportunity for companies, it also poses a big risk. Smartphone shipments topped 155 million last year in the Middle East and Africa – that’s an increase of over 66 percent on the previous year, according to analysts IDC[1]. Hybrid devices like two-in-one laptop-cum-tablets are also on the rise in the region; this market grew 17.6 percent last year, IDC says[2].

Which is hardly surprising, given that these devices are much more convenient for users who use them in both a work and personal capacity. READ MORE: BYOD: How to manage data loss[3]

The rise of BYOD

The increasing popularity of these devices has led to the rise of a policy known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).[4] As the name suggests, it allows employees to use their personal phone or laptop for work purposes, rather than carrying around a second, work-dedicated device.

Employees love the convenience of it. But there is a rather large downside. With every worker free to use their own device, there’s no guarantee it will have the requisite security provisions to protect it from hackers, and hence stop confidential company information falling into the wrong hands.

It’s not just the data stored on the portable device that’s at risk. Some forms of malware lie dormant until the device is plugged into the company network, at which point they spring to life and steal all the data they can from the firm’s servers. As too many companies have found out, the repercussions of such a breach can be disastrous.

Thankfully, companies can protect themselves with a simple policy: Choose Your Own Device (CYOD).[5]

Why choose CYOD?

CYOD offers all of the choice and flexibility of BYOD, but without the security risks. By deciding which devices its employees can choose from, the firm will know exactly what each device’s security provisions are, and will have peace of mind that its data is stored on one of the safest devices around. Crucially, it will also know what to do should the device be lost, stolen, or infected with malware.

Not only that, it also streamlines the working process. Because the company will know exactly what version of what software the device is running, it can be sure all its own apps and software will be compatible and consistent across the board. That should mean an end to employees’ compatibility issues, or even an app looking different on different devices.

This makes it easier to use and will hence increase productivity. CYOD doesn’t necessarily mean employees must carry two devices, either. Some devices let companies create separate ‘zones’ on them for business and personal use.

That way, the company creates a remotely-managed zone within the device, where all the confidential data is held and protected by its company-approved encryption and security technology. So as you see, CYOD can actually be more convenient than BYOD.

A device for every need

It doesn’t mean scrimping on choice, either. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga[6] is a two-in-one device with four modes to choose from.

You can use it as a standard laptop, a tablet, in ‘tent’ mode and with the base folded back behind the screen. So whatever you want to do, be it a presentation, typing out documents, replying to emails or drawing on the screen using the stylus, it’s up to the task. It’s the ideal tool for work and play.

If you want something a little different, the ThinkPad X1 Tablet[7] certainly stands out from the crowd. It’s a laptop with a projector built-in, so you can beam your presentations straight onto the wall. That means no more lugging around bulky projectors.

The keyboard is detachable too and comes in a range of colour options, so you can pick the one that perfectly complements your style. For a straight-up powerhouse of a laptop, look no further than the ThinkPad X1 Carbon[8]. It’s the thinnest ThinkPad ever made.

In fact, it’s the lightest 14-inch business laptop in the world. But when it comes to performance, it’s no lightweight. Its 11-hour battery life will last all but the most arduous of days, and with its exclusive RapidCharge technology, it’ll juice up in no time.

Opt for the optional 4G LTE-A connection, and you’ll always be connected no matter where you are. And the satellite-grade carbon fibre chassis will withstand everything you can throw at it on your travels. READ MORE: How activity-based working could transform your business[9]

Knowing which devices your employees use doesn’t mean limiting their choice, or weighing them down with extra devices. By specifying which devices they can use on the move, you’ll enhance the security of your company, make them more productive, and still offer a great range of devices for on-the-go working. CYOD is your ticket to a more secure, more productive and ultimately more profitable business.

Are you interested in the innovations changing the IT landscape?

Visit Think Progress[10] to read about the latest technology trends in Africa, and learn about how technology can help you drive better business outcomes.

This article was published in partnership with Lenovo.


  1. ^ IDC (
  2. ^ IDC says (
  3. ^ BYOD: How to manage data loss (
  4. ^ Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). (
  5. ^ Choose Your Own Device (CYOD). (
  6. ^ Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (
  7. ^ ThinkPad X1 Tablet (
  8. ^ ThinkPad X1 Carbon (
  9. ^ : How activity-based working could transform your business (
  10. ^ Think Progress (

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