Most businesses now have a BYOD culture. That’s nothing new, and AV tech has found creative ways of evolving to fit these cultures. New tech means new opportunities and new challenges. As more products and devices come into the workplace, new risks and concerns emerge for clients. 

It’s time for a BYOD collaboration update. 

From full conferencing systems to the latest cloud-based dashboards, there are always new product solutions to discuss with clients. And with the interface of business-owned equipment and BYOD come the risks. 

BYOD means more opportunity for human error, and more pathways for bad actors to take advantage of human error and other failures in protecting AV collaboration infrastructure. With so much to consider, what can AV integrators do to navigate these risks? Let’s take a look.

Products

The AV space has no shortage of new products that claim to be game-changers. What are a few categories of products your clients are likely to be asking about, and how can you steer them in the right direction? Here are a few categories to consider.

  • Collaboration Systems – For mid-sized conference rooms and huddle spaces, an integrated conferencing system can come in handy. Many products allow BYOD devices to become tools of collaboration. Systems with cameras and audio conferencing mixers that can connect microphones and speakers directly through BYOD are very user-friendly. Having a wireless presentation display, whiteboard, and video conferencing system also makes for team collaboration with both in-house and remote team members a snap. 
  • Browser-Based Platforms – Collaboration and workflow tools accessed through your browser can minimize many of the risks and challenges explored below. There is a dashboard for everything, from managing a meeting or a calendar of display messages, to surveillance systems. Browser-based platforms tend to be very user-friendly and balance flexibility with security. 

Risks

BYO. Bringing your own anything can involve some risk, and electronic devices pose some particular threats. Clients will likely be aware of some of these risks, but not sure how to handle them. Here are a few areas of risk you need to be aware of, and at the ready when solutions are required.

  • Employee Privacy – It’s not just the company itself that is at risk with BYOD culture. Another risk is to employee privacy. According to one study, 77 percent of employees say they have not been trained about the risks of BYOD. There is a certain expectation of privacy, yet when you bring your device to work and connect to the network, your company can then see the activity on your device.
  • Security – This is the area that is most likely top of mind for your clients. With all of these devices coming in from at least ¾ of your workforce, how do you manage network security? AV and IT need to work together to make sure networks, corporate data and employees’ personal information are secure.
  • Compatibility – A big challenge for integrators comes in getting visual and audio data rendered and displayed across the vast number of personal and company-owned devices. There is a lot that can go haywire in a presentation that transitions between the two. A mind-numbing array of hardware and software, working with both new and old systems and programs, all of these create compatibility challenges integrators face every day. 

Concerns

This is where things get interesting. First, let’s look at cost-benefit. Some wonder if BYOD will have the anticipated cost-benefit that companies imagine it will. Security protocols and compliance might include mobile data management (MDM) and enterprise mobility management (EMM.) All of these and similar security backstops cost money.

Network overload is another concern with BYOD culture. With an influx of devices, demand on the network increases exponentially. AV integrators will need to work with IT infrastructure decision-makers on planning for this kind of inevitable scaling up of the network in order to handle the increased load.

BYOD is a bell we can’t unring, and there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the ability to collaborate quickly and easily with coworkers. But this collaboration needs to be managed properly. AV integration has a key role to play as BYOD culture continues to evolve and grow within companies.