IT Strategies for Your Business: Bring Your Own Device
If you are starting a business and can start hiring staff members, you are going to want to make sure your staff has the most compatible technology that fits your business needs and is cost-effective.
by Kamar Daniel
Some businesses will go with a standard model of phones, desktops, or laptops. However, that may not be best the option due to price, productivity, and compatibility issues.
Enter the B.Y.O.D. Method: Bring Your Own Device. This strategy allows staff to use their personal devices to fulfill their business needs. In this blog, I will dive into the pros and cons of this business practice.
Pros of a BYOD Policy
Practically everyone these days owns a smartphone or computer of some sort. If most people already own most of their devices, it will cut costs significantly. Research shows that companies save about $3,150 per employee per year by implementing a BYOD policy.
When companies provide computers to employees, they must factor in buying new devices every few years to stay up to date. With BYOD, employees now carry this expense, and they upgrade their own machines when they want something new. With smartphones, companies no longer must foot the bill for data plans because the employee pays their own bill.
One of the more important things a business will have to do to make sure their staff is ready to implement a training policy on its equipment. Training policies at times can be time-consuming. With BYOD, less time is needed for a learning curve.
Employees do not need to be trained on devices they already know how to use. This saved time spent training can leave more time to complete tasks, which will increase the overall efficiency of a business. Employees can jump in on day one and be productive immediately.
The BYOD policy makes employees happier and satisfied to do the work. They are using exactly what they like to use. They do not have to cope with an office standard of machine and can work with the tools they feel are comfortable.
By allowing employees to use their own devices, they can work anywhere without needing other tools to access files. This increase in flexibility can also increase employee happiness, loyalty, morale, and overall engagement.
Cons of a BYOD Policy
A business may have solid security measures when it comes to telling staff members how to use their devices. However, with a BYOD policy, companies cannot account for how a device is used when that staff member is not in the office. Once the employee leaves for the day, any sensitive data they have access to goes home with them. Proper security measures must be put in place to ensure that company data is not easily accessible when employees are not in the office.
In addition to a BYOD policy risking company data, there is an even larger risk of an employee bringing an infected device on a company’s network. With BYOD, businesses must have faith that their staff understands good cybersecurity practices. Allowing multiple types of devices, each with different configurations and personal data, could be a huge security problem!
Most businesses value a level of uniformity. They like the idea of their staff using similar policies and strategies. With a BYOD policy, that business practice may take a hit. For starters, it may drive an IT department crazy. It is a huge risk to expect any IT team, small or large, to properly manage the hardware and software of personal devices.
They will have to keep track of who has a computer that is too old to run something, or too new to work with older editions of the software. The IT department will also have to deal with the emotions of staff members who may not allow changes to their personal machines.
A business will also have to draw a fine line between protecting their sensitive information and risking the employee’s sensitive data. For example, let’s say an employee chooses to leave. There could be potential personal and legal issues if a company has to delete their important files to protect the company, but they end up removing a staff member’s files in the process.
Some employees may resist using their devices because they do not want to risk being exploited. If a business has a very strict cybersecurity policy, staff members may feel their privacy rights could be taken away by giving the company access to their machine.
There are many benefits and risks with a Bring Your Own Device Policy. It is up to the business to determine the best policies and procedures that fit. Factors like convenience, cost, privacy, security, and IT support must be included. It is also crucial the business accurately convey the pros and cons of a BYOD program to their staff.