The Pros and Cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Policy
BYOD Policy, or Bring Your Own Device Policy, is gaining a lot of steam among many organizations. But is it the right move for your company? Before you can answer that question, it’s important to cover the BYOD basics. Although you may be somewhat familiar with the term, we need to clearly define BYOD for anyone just tuning in.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Is BYOD?
As mentioned, BYOD is an acronym for Bring Your Own Device. Essentially, that translates to letting employees bring their own mobile device (or laptop and tablet) to work for company use. At the outset, this may sound like a wonderful idea. Save money on company equipment? What’s not to like?
Well, potentially a lot, as it turns out. But it’s up to you to make that call for your company based on the positives and negatives of the program. So with that, we present to you the pros and cons of the BYOD policy.
There is unquestionably a lot to like about letting employees bring their own devices to work. And chief among BYOD’s pros is that it affords your company the benefit of saving money on device costs. BYOD passes on the savings directly to your organization, as you aren’t footing the bill for equipment.
If you have an entire team of 100 people, imagine the cost of buying devices for everyone. You’re already paying for a business cell phone plan, with each additional line raising your bill. Even subsidized plans are expensive, but there’s no getting around the cost for each device.
Of course, BYOD reaches far beyond cell phones. When you factor in tablets and laptops, you’re looking at a small fortune to supply equipment to everyone.
This could be grouped together with saving money, but it deserves its own spot. Less training equates to more time spent on productivity and less downtime related to teaching your staff how to use each device.
If there’s one thing you can generally count on people to do with their mobile device, it’s that they’ll upgrade them to the latest and greatest. Most everyone gets tired of their personal device after a year or so. And when news hits that there’s an upgrade to be had, most users are quick to take advantage of it.
There are few things worse than having to learn and use hardware and software you despise. For example, trying to get an avid Android user to switch over to an Apple iProduct is likely to be met with pushback, and vice versa. Device familiarity often equates to good company morale.
Access to Information
Employees who have smart devices on their person have access to information whenever they need it. This in itself is a huge benefit when serving customers or troubleshooting issues around the office or in the field.
If a team member needs a question answered right away, chances are it’s on the internet and can be accessed in just a few moments.
Since not everyone is using the same device, there is bound to be a lack of consistency among your team. For instance, half of your employees might be using Apple, the other Android (or Windows, if we’re talking about laptops and operating systems).
The BYOD policy’s single biggest threat is probably security, or lack thereof. If you have a dedicated IT service, its workers will have a hard time ensuring the security of personal devices. This leaves you vulnerable to potential security risks that must be considered.
If everyone’s using different employee devices, software and project management apps may not work with every device. This could lead to more time spent with IT, thus detracting from productivity.
Things get a little hairy in this department when BYOD is concerned. Such concerns include housing, deleting, and transferring sensitive company data. As such, you may want to meet with legal counsel to make sure you have all of your bases covered.
The BYOD policy has a lot going for it, but there are also many potential downsides to consider. As a business owner, you want to ensure that your company operates smoothly. Therefore, it’s important that you weigh all of the pros and cons of BYOD to make sure it’s right for you.
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