Establishing a BYOD Policy: The Pros & Cons
In the past, most companies found the need to supply their employees with the tools they need to do their jobs – whether that was a mobile phone, tablet or laptop. But in recent years more companies have chosen to establish a “Bring Your Own Device” or BYOD policy.
These policies allow employees to utilize their own devices while on the job. Whether that means using your cell phone to take pictures, your tablet to log your time or a desktop to work from home.
So why are companies making the shift? And should you join in this shift as well? Sure, the thought of not having to purchase equipment sounds like it may save you money. However, there are other factors to consider.
Here are the pros and cons of establishing a BYOD policy:
Here’s the upside of implementing a Bring Your Own Device policy:
You Can Save Money on Technology
It pretty much goes without saying that if you’re not purchasing phones or laptops for your employees, you’ll save money.
The Pew Research Center estimates that 81% of Americans currently own a smartphone. But the purchase price of a phone isn’t the only place you can save money.
If you are going to allow your employees to use their own phones, chances are repair costs will also be less. We tend to take better care of devices that we own vs. owned by our employer.
Often times there are several benefits for employees if they can keep their own phone or device.
First of all, there’s no learning curve and your employees can hit the ground running. Chances are high that your employees are already familiar with operating the device and can be more efficient from day one.
Two, employees typically have a preference for certain brands. Do they prefer Mac over PC or iPhone over Android? Whatever the case may be, if they keep their own device, they will be able to keep their preferred phone or laptop.
Employee Owned Devices Are Usually More Upgraded
This is not always the case, but companies tend not to update their fleet of iPhones every time a new one is released. It’s just not feasible to do that for everyone’s device. But when we purchase them for ourselves, we do.
There are some serious downsides to a BYOD that you need to understand before setting one up for your business.
What happens if your employee’s phone gets lost or stolen? Would you be the one on the hook to pay to replace it or do they? Who pays for the repair costs if something breaks? What if something breaks after hours but your employee says it was when they were working on something for the business?
Plus, when employers have access to their employee’s personal data, there are real privacy concerns that need to be addressed.
There are grey areas here that you need to consider and think about prior to implementing a company BYOD policy.
Cybersecurity is probably the biggest concern with a BYOD policy. If employees are going to be accessing sensitive company data with their devices they need to be secured.
This is made more difficult by the fact that instead of supporting one type of device you may need to support several different devices and find both software and security solutions that work for each. When you’re only supporting one type of device, you have a greater control over security protocols, but
Employee Exit Strategy
You need to consider what happens when an employee leaves the company. Who owns the company data stored on their phone? And if there is data on their phone, it could prove difficult to retrieve it without a well laid-out agreement with your employees.
At the end of the day there are several factors you need to consider when looking at a BYOD policy. But you need to be educated about both the benefits and the risks before you jump in. The cost savings can be an attractive carrot, but without the correct policy and protections in place first, it can be a risky road.
Innergi’s IT Managed Services professionals can help you weigh the positive and negative impacts of a BYOD policy for your business. Give us a call today at 321-275-5580 to discuss your options.