BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device ….to work. Many of us are using personal digital devices in work situations, blurring the line between professional and personal. Enter Android to the rescue.
Installing work-related applications on your own smartphone has become the norm, and since this BYOD phenomenon is growing, Android decided to offer a version of its OS especially dedicated to this purpose: Android for Work. Even though Android for Work is still in a test version phase, Google recently announced that over 10,000 companies are already using and testing their OS dedicated to work. Among the early adopters are SAP and the insurance group Guardian Life. This is a step toward making workplace tasks and data on mobile phones more fluid and automatic, not to mention less risky for both parties.
We don’t know yet when Android for Work will be available to all, but this solution seems to be a good compromise to the BYOD phenomenon and the associated legal and social issues. With so many companies asking employees to test or install apps, this fulfills a serious and growing need to define the line between private and professional, and brings peace of mind to both parties.
How does it work?
The idea is to separate personal and professional data on the same device (this part was developed together with Blackberry). To do so, Android for Work operates with a “multi-user” option which is fully secure, created to define the line between personal vs. company information. Google calls this an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) platform. Optimized for Android Lollipop, Android for work is also available for Ice Cream Sandwich, Kitkat and Jelly Bean. What’s the icing on the cake? This is a mutually beneficial solution where both the company and the personal user will have control over their respective information.
Benefits to the Company
-IT departments can manage the OS by integrating or removing applications on the work-side without ever touching users personal data.
-Companies can distribute developed apps to employees and manage them internally.
-Security policies can be easily implemented over disparate devices (whereas on personal devices not managed by Android for Work, companies may be risking unwelcome security breaches).
Benefits to the Personal User
– The system also comes with a suite of productivity apps to simplify mobile work such as work calendar, work email, work tasks, work contacts, etc.
-All apps and information will be on the same screen, but company apps will have special icons that make them clearly distinguishable.
How To Get Android for Work
Android for Work is suitable on all devices ranging from Android 4.0 to Android 5.0. To get Android For Work, speak with your IT department first because the platform is only available to companies who already have Google Apps for Work. Companies that do not have Google Apps for Work can still take part if they choose a 3rd party EMM provider here.
Just think, with personal and private contacts neatly divided, you won’t have to spend another weekend worrying about accidentally pocket dialing your manager on their day off. Now that’s progress.