Even before millions of workers started doing their jobs from home, companies across America were considering a shift to bring your own device (or BYOD) setups. These simply involved letting employees finish company work on their own phones, laptops, and tablets.
Over time, BYOD has become a bit controversial. Some business owners and executives think it’s a great idea. Others are convinced that it hurts productivity and opens companies up to risk. Which side is correct?
In today’s post we are going to explore both sides of the issue so you can make up your own mind.
The Advantages of BYOD
In theory, BYOD setups make all the sense in the world. Your employees already use computers and laptops, so letting them use their own devices for work might mean you can lower your budgets. Plus, it lets your staff use tools they already know, like, and are familiar with.
Business owners tend to focus on the cost savings of BYOD, which is understandable. However, you shouldn’t underestimate the efficiency gains that come with letting your teams work with their preferred pieces of technology. That’s especially true if what they buy is faster, newer, or more attractive than the devices you would purchase for them.
The Drawbacks of BYOD
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to having employees use their own devices. For one thing, you might be expected to pay a portion of the costs, which could mitigate the budgetary savings. Also, you have little or no control over the equipment they use. So if you have staff members who choose devices that aren’t a perfect match for their work, there isn’t much you can do about it.
Compatibility can also be a concern. When you have employees using lots of different devices, including several brands and versions, it can be hard to find software that works for everyone. Certain apps might not work as well as they should, or some features may become unavailable to certain users.
In the longer term, the big drawback to a BYOD setup is that it can introduce all kinds of data security issues. For example, what happens if one of your employees downloads something to their own device that allows hackers to break into your network? Or what if a disgruntled employee leaves the company and doesn’t return a laptop or tablet because they own it? Will they still have access to sensitive files? Are you protected if they join an unsecured network in a public place?
Add all of these issues together and you might find that it’s actually cheaper, and less of a hassle, to just buy the equipment your employees need and only have them use it during work hours.
Building Your Device Strategy
So, should you have employees using their own devices? The answer probably depends a great deal on your budget, industry, and risk tolerance. If you want to look at some options that apply to your specific organization, then schedule a consultation with our team. We will be happy to show you how we help our clients solve these sorts of problems while also letting them build stronger, more resilient businesses.
Get in touch today to learn more!