There’s a lot of talk in the business and employee community at the moment about bring your own device. In this article you will learn what bring your own device or “BYOD” is, the pros and cons and why it’s important for your business to understand this new way of working.
What Is Bring Your Own Device?
Consumer electronic devices like smartphones and tablet computers have recently seen a huge rise in popularity, features and capability. Many businesses are being asked by their employees for permission to use these devices to carry out all or part of their jobs. Bring your own device is essentially allowing your employees to bring their own laptops, mobile phones and tablet computers into the workplace, connect them to the business network and work on them.
As a business owner, there are some obvious advantages to allowing this, the most obvious being that your employees are supplying their own up-to-date technology devices which could save you money. There are some negative aspects to BYOD, so if you’re looking to implement a bring your own device policy, it’s important to understand the pros, cons and how it will affect your business before you go ahead.
The Pros of Bring Your Own Device
Cost Savings: Allowing your employees to work on their own devices could save your business money. By transferring the responsibility of laptops, smartphones and tablets to your employees, you can free up extra money to invest in other areas of your business.
Increased Productivity: New technology has allowed people to work in all places. Your employees will be comfortable with how their own device works and will usually have it with them constantly which can increase their productivity.
Accessibility: We live in a world that runs 24 hours a day. By allowing your employees to use their own devices, they will have constant access to your business information and files at their fingertips and will no longer be constrained to the workplace.
The Cons of Bring Your Own Device
Security Concerns: It can be more difficult to maintain adequate security if your employees are all using their own devices. You are likely already protecting your business computers against malware, viruses, data theft and privacy invasions. It can be tricky but not impossible to achieve the same security standards on your employees own devices.
Network Infrastructure: Connecting three or four devices per person to your network infrastructure can have a negative effect, especially if you have an older system. This can be prevented by upgrading your network infrastructure, but the additional costs to your business might not be something you can currently fund.
Policy: When allowing employees to bring their own devices into the workplace, you will need to create new policies addressing liability and privacy concerns.
Should My Business Allow BYOD?
This is only something you can decide. Whether BYOD will be a benefit, depends on your business. If you are working in an industry where security concerns are not at the top of your list of priorities, the increased productivity, employee satisfaction and costs benefits could be very useful to your business.
It’s important to consider the pros and cons to your business fully before implementing BYOD, and possibly have a week-long trial period before making your final decision. Modern technology is changing the way people work, and bring your own device could be a common feature of all workplaces in the near future. It’s a good idea to begin thinking about how BYOD will affect your future operations now.