BYOD or Bring your own device policies are set by companies worldwide to allow their employees access to their personal tablets, laptops, and smartphones for work. While it can help businesses save money in the long term, a few challenges may be overlooked. Before implementing this policy, consider the pros and cons of a BYOD system.
Positive Impact of BYOD Trends
Let’s face it: BYOD isn’t going anywhere. The Internet has made it possible for billions of people to interact instantly, and it’s rare to find someone who doesn’t have a piece of technology that connects to the World Wide Web. Millennials and Gen Z expect some form of online resource, on-demand access, or app that makes their job or studies easier.
Within all sectors, BYOD trends in higher education are expected to go up, but the adoption of this policy is also found in corporate industries, the public sector, and medical institutions. The only thing stopping other industries from using BYOD is their reluctance to use it.
Positives of Adopting a BYOD Policy
97% of Americans now own a cellphone of some kind, 85% of that number owns smartphones. It’s safe to say your employees will own one as well. Not having to buy a cellphone for every employee will save you money on the phone itself, repairs, and their phone bill.
If every employee is handed a new cell phone, most of them won’t know how to use it right away. Most people have a preference for a phone company or provider, as well. Your employees will be happy that they could choose for themselves.
Most of your employees will keep their phones on them at all times, but they may forget their business phone at home by accident. You won’t have to worry about them remembering more than one device for work. Your employees can be productive immediately with their cell phones.
It’s a bigger expense to update equipment than it is to buy older, slower technology. Your employees will typically have their phones on a two-year contract, enabling them to keep their phone’s current. A 2-year technology difference won’t matter much for your company.
Negatives of Adopting a BYOD Policy
Complex IT Support
The IT support on staff may not be able to fix everyone’s device. There are thousands of different companies, model types, and devices that your individual team will have difficulty correcting. If everyone used their own device, this wouldn’t be an issue.
How to fix this: Don’t ask your employees to get the same type of device because they’re unlikely to change their devices. Instead, outsource your IT issues that your on-team staff can’t fix. There are plenty of freelancers that are available within a few hours to fix tech.
Security Risk Doubles
An employee that uses their own device will be more at risk for hackers and security breaches. It’s not as easy to make rules about how your employee uses their device. If your employee leaves the company, you also have to wipe all company data off their device.
How to fix this: Use encryption software on personal company files and not on the device itself. You can do this by using a VPN or another encrypted server. Put in your BYOD policy that employees must allow the IT professionals in your building to delete company data after leaving.
Privacy Loss (Maybe)
There’s a concern with BYOD employees that there will be a potential loss of privacy after the policy is enacted. However, companies need to worry about this themselves because employees could use their own information in malicious ways, like giving it to a competitor.
How to fix this: You can’t stop a previous employee from poaching customers, but you can ensure that you can sue for damages if that does occur. Ensure that the contract your employee signs includes potential consequences for stealing phone numbers or address of clients.
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