Five apps to make the BYOD transition easier

Jack Wallen suggests apps that will help make switching between home and office easier.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) - it's not only becoming an important element for end users, it's becoming a necessity for businesses. BYOD offers up a possible cost savings for companies and more mobility for users. But with the possibilities of BYOD, comes hurdles to leap. Some of those hurdles (such as security) fall into the hands of the company. Other hurdles, such as ease of transition, fall squarely on the shoulders of the end user. Although the inherent mobility of many devices make for easy transition, it is necessary to take advantage of applications to make switching between home and office easy.

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Here are five possible applications that can aid in your transition. These application vary in platform, but all should help make BYOD a user-friendly task.

Five Apps

1. SpiderOak

SpiderOak is yet another data syncing tool. But unlike Dropbox (or other syncing software), SpiderOak isn't just your average syncing software. SpiderOak makes BOYD even easier with the following features: Backup data, create multiple, unique syncing pairs across all machines associated with an account, and easily share anything. If you're looking for the single best syncing solution to help make the BYOD transition easier, SpiderOak is the one you need. SpiderOak is available for all platforms.

2. Divide

Divide is an Android application that allows you to easily (and securely) separate your personal data from your business data. Divide actually creates a separate (launcher) desktop to be used for your business data. The Divide workspace is not only separate, it is also encrypted. With the help of solid password protection, should your device be lost or stolen, the data on the business side of Divide is secure. If an Android device is part of your BYOD solution, you need to take advantage of Divide.

3. TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt allows you to create encrypted volumes (virtual disks) where you can place your work data. TrueCrypt is available for Windows, Linux, and Mac (in both 32 and 64 bit versions). You can encrypt volumes on standard machines or even external and USB drives. TrueCrypt also supports a concept called plausible deniability. This feature allows a single hidden volume to be created within another volume. Windows users can even create an encrypted, hidden operating system whose existence can be denied. TrueCrypt might be the single best means of hiding your business data on your BYOD.

4. Keepass

Keepass is a necessity when you have numerous passwords to remember. If you have this need, you want to entrust your passwords to a piece of software up to the task. With Keepass you can enjoy: Strong security, multiple user keys, portability, and the ability to export to .txt, .cvs, .html, and .xml. The app also allows for easy database transfer, secure clipboard handling, searching and sorting, random password generator, plugin support, and it is open source. Anyone needing to keep passwords on a BOYD device, Keepass is your best option.

5. LibreOffice

LibreOffice might not be an obvious choice for some; but for those that need the flexibility of BOYD, and cannot afford the price tag of Microsoft Office, LibreOffice is the obvious choice. With a near feature-for-feature match to Microsoft Office, LibreOffice has the price tag to appeal to users of all types - it's free. But don't let the price tag fool you; LibreOffice is solid and will help make your BOYD day-to-day work a breeze. Sure, if your company will purchase Office for you (and you would prefer that software), go ahead with the Microsoft solution. But if you're on your own, and want a solid piece of software you can afford make LibreOffice your choice.

Bottom line

BOYD is here to stay. Just like the '90s saw a huge rise in telecommuting, we should start seeing a larger amount of BYOD flooding businesses. As this happens, the right software will be necessary. Add the titles here to your list of 'must tries' to make your BYOD transition painless.

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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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