The Pros & Cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

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The Pros & Cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

The relationship between work and home is constantly changing, with more people telecommuting and using their home, local café, or maybe an airport as a remote office. But there is an escalating trend in how employees bring their work life and home life together, BYOD: Bring Your Own Device. BYOD is an IT policy where employees are allowed or encouraged to use their personal laptop, smart phone and/or tablet for work to access enterprise data and systems.

However, there are always pros and cons for newer polices that are being introduced in the workplace.  Here are some to consider if you are going to allow employees to bring their own device.

Pros

Employees may embrace the concept of being self sufficient, and would rather choose tools that help them to be more effective and work more efficiently.

Allowing employees to bring their own device to the workplace has a number of benefits to both the company and the employee.

  • Increased efficiency and creativity: Employees are just more comfortable with their own device. And because they are more comfortable, they tend to embrace new platforms and technology much faster than a business does. Therefore, the employee becomes more productive and efficient.
  • Employee satisfaction: 83% of device users say their mobile device is more important to them then their morning cup of coffee. Allowing employees to bring their own device will not only make them feel satisfied, but trusted to do their work on their own without using company equipment. Not to mention, it will simplify their life by not having to carry around multiple devices all day.
  • Cost Savings: Having employees use their own devices shifts costs from the company to the employee. You may want to consider offering per diems to help with costs, but overall your company will still see lower costs as a result.

Cons

There are some bumps along the way that companies need to get over in order to effectively implement BYOD. The risks associated with BYOD to work vary, depending on the industry, the specific job and the location.

Some things to consider are:

  • Personal cost: Employees may not be willing to put in the money for their own device. More mobile devices are replacing company-provided laptops; some employees may expect the organization to pay for the new devices as well. And with 82% of people expecting smart phones to play a critical role in business productivity in 2016, this may be a reality for some companies.
  • Company support: If employees are allowed to bring their own device, will the company give internal support? Your company has to consider costs when it comes to possibly providing apps and a help desk for the unavoidable flood of support calls. Also, the internal support team should have guidelines in place for how it will protect data on a personal device.
  • Company control: Some job functions may require access to sensitive data. Your IT department will need complete control over any devise that has specific applications installed in them. This has to be ok for both the company and employee. There should be some kind of basic guidelines drawn out for how the company data should be protected. Compliance with these guidelines doesn’t change just because an employee shifted from a work device to a personal one.

There are a lot of benefits and issues to take into account when considering implementing BYOD to work. By making sure both parties understand the pros and cons, and guidelines are clearly stated, this can be a successful relationship between work and home technology. 

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