“Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD” is a common way for businesses to give their employees greater flexibility with how and where they work. Anyone who’s worked with a clunky “work laptop” before knows how cumbersome business-supplied devices can be. BYOD also cuts down on costs, since there’s no need to invest in new devices every few years. However, BYOD isn’t always a great solution. Before you jump in, here are a few things you ought to consider.
BYOD can create logistical headaches
Let’s say you allow your employees to bring their own devices to work. Will they integrate properly with your existing infrastructure? Or will your staff struggle to connect with printers, projectors and computers in the office? Will an iPhone connect to your office Windows machines? If you allow a BYOD free-for-all, you should be prepared for plenty of technological clashes.
How secure is BYOD?
If you supply all your employees’ work devices, your IT department can ensure they’re kept up-to-date with security patches. However, BYOD allows employees to run more or less whatever systems they want and makes it far harder for your cyber security team to do their job. Malware and remote exploitation are much more likely if you don’t carefully consider how you deploy a BYOD policy.
Who pays for BYOD?
One of the big attractions of BYOD is that it shifts costs onto your employees. “Great, no more buying dozens of new devices”, you might think. As we’ve already seen, you can’t just send employees out to buy whatever they want. However, if they can’t freely choose their own device, they’re going to be reluctant to spend their own money on it. Realistically, you’re going to have to make some kind of contribution to the purchase price. This might well be a win-win; your employee gets a high-end device at a discount, and you don’t have to pay out for tech that will be obsolete in a few years. Don’t think that BYOD is free though.
Should you choose a BYOD policy?
BYOD can be a great way to improve flexibility and keep costs down at your business. You just need to be careful and understand what the risks are before you dive in. Speak to stakeholders; your IT department, your employees and whoever provides your digital security. As long as you know what you’re doing, there’s no reason you can’t make a success of BYOD!