To BYOD or not to BYOD?

To BYOD or not to BYOD?

To BYOD or not BYOD? A popular trend as of recent, BYOD stands for Bring-Your-Own-Device. The trend was noted around 2009 as Intel realized a lot of people brought their own devices to work. The idea was that because people already had them, they might as well be incorporated into the main network. Naturally, of course, this leads to some issues and complications.

There are several arguments as to why people feel a BYOD approach is beneficial to certain businesses– and with the right planning and implementation, it can be the right policy for your business.

What are some benefits of a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy?

  • It has the potential to reduce costs as companies may not have to purchase devices for their employees.
  • Employees tend to be a lot more careful with a device when it is something that they have personally paid for.
  • There is more freedom for the individual as they can use a device tailored to their own individual needs. As the name suggests, bring your own device means you are bringing something that is your own.
  • You can use mobile apps specifically tailored to your particular role in the company.
  • Recent statistics have suggested that BYOD workplaces can increase productivity by approximately 80%. Employees are always connected to work when they can access it through their personal device.

Naturally for all the advantages there are disadvantages – what are some of the downsides of a BYOD policy that businesses need to take into account?

  • There is an increased risk of security breaches if the device or mobile apps are not properly secured.
  • Your business’ private information is constantly being brought into the outside world, increasing the chances of security threats.
  • Who’s paying? It can be an additional cost for employees, or it can be additional cost for your business.
  • If a personal device is damaged and this impairs productivity, the cost saved by the company is cancelled out by the wasted time of the employee unable to do their work.
  • Employees may not feel comfortable with the fact that they are using their personal device for work and that it will be managed and monitored.
  • Every employee may have a different device platform, making your BYOD program difficult to manage and to constantly update.

This is further complicated by the fact that according to recent statistics, only 20% of companies have a BYOD policy. So in effect there are problems here as management allow people to have their own devices, yet don’t have a policy covering their use.

Fortunately, experts have clear recommendations on how to ensure that BYOD is the correct policy for your business and how to ensure it is done effectively:

  • Look at your business goals and how the technology can be incorporated into them.
  • Have you checked regulations to ensure your business can bring devices in?
  • Are the employees based in the office or travelling?
  • What happens if an employee is terminated?
  • Do you have a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution in place?
  • How proficient is the employee in using their technology?
  • Do you have the right training for your employees for your new policy and/or your Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution?
  • What are the common device platforms your employees are using? Does your MDM support them?
  • How is the data stored?
  • How are the devices and associated costs being paid for, and who is paying for them?

Once you have answered these questions you can then develop your BYOD policy so you can either test it on a group of your employees, or have it point you in a direction of finding the right mobile policy for your business.

In short, yes, BYOD can be beneficial for your company, but you need to make sure it is incorporated in the right way with the right planning. It is also essential that you have the right MDM solution in place to protect your business’s security.

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