Any member of an IT department is by now familiar with the acronym BYOD or bring-your-own-device. It is a strategy in which employees are permitted to use their personal tablets or smartphones for business functions and on the company's network. BYOD has been a major topic of discussion over the last year as mobile devices have become must-have business tools. However, there is single letter change that could become the next big trend – CYOD.

Standing for "choose your own device," CYOD offers many of the advantages of BYOD while answering some of the major drawbacks to the later – namely the security concerns. While having employees use their personal devices saves money it also opens up a company's network to potential malware, as well as the trouble that would arise if a worker were to lose their smartphone or tablet that had sensitive information on it.

In a recent article about this new trend from ZDNet, Kevin Gavin – the chief marketing officer at ShoreTel – was interviewed about why CYOD is gaining such high favor with executives.

At its base, this kind of approach would allow IT managers greater control over devices that have access to their networks and information. This would include applications that are downloaded, as well as, answering the problem of what happens to information on the device once an individuals employment ends.

"With employees wanting certain devices, but IT departments holding on to control for dear life, 2013 will bring a year of compromise," said Gavin. "The practice of giving employees the ability to 'choose their own device' instead of 'bring their own device' will increase; which will satisfy security issues concerning the IT department and the desire of choice for employees."

Whether choosing a BYOD or CYOD path, device management and network support are going to be crucial. An IT consulting firm can help businesses of any size implement this technology seamlessly.

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