Over the past few years, the BYOD – or “bring your own device” – movement has become very popular in business circles. It’s not hard to figure out why. If companies could get employees to use their own phones and tablets, everyone wins. Businesses would save money and team members could choose the mobile devices they are most comfortable with.
Naturally, business owners and executives tend to focus on the money-saving aspects of BYOD arrangements. However, it’s not always the case that a company or organization actually reduces costs with these sorts of policies. In fact, they could end up costing you more than you would otherwise spend on mobile technology.
To help you understand why, let’s look at a few reasons why BYOD isn’t always a money-saving practice…
Companies Can Be Forced to Pay for Devices Anyway
If devices are required to work with your company, then you might end up buying them for employees and contractors regardless of what your policies say. Some states could require that you do so, and it may end up being easier (and cheaper) as a matter of practicality.
This is an issue you want to study with your lawyers and accountants of course, but be aware that BYOD only works financially when your team is happy to use a device that would otherwise be purchased for their own day-to-day needs.
BYOD Policies Sometimes Limit What Businesses Can Do
In theory, having employees bring their own devices saves you money without causing you to give up anything in return. What happens, though, if your team members want to use phones or tablets that are too old to run the apps your company uses, or that don’t work with the tools that are integral to your company’s operations?
When you consider all the types of mobile equipment out there, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where mixing them together can cause complications. If productivity is your main goal, then it might be easier to simply supply the equipment you want your employees to use in the first place.
IT Security and Maintenance Costs May Increase with BYOD
The biggest potential issue with bring your own device schemes is that you don’t have control over the devices themselves. In addition to compatibility issues, there might be concerns with security. What if your employee takes the device home with them, lends it to a spouse or friend, or even uses it to work for another company? Will your data and proprietary information be as secure as you would like them to be?
For these reasons, it can cost more to maintain your company’s technology with a BYOD policy, and having a uniform set of phones and tablets you control can be much safer in the long run.
The Bottom Line on BYOD
Because no two businesses or situations are the same, it’s difficult to make blanket statements about any aspect of IT or finance. However, when you consider the fact that BYOD policies carry hidden costs – and that companies can often buy phones, tablets, and other pieces of technology at wholesale prices – the decision isn’t usually as straightforward as accountants and financial planners might suggest.
In addition to the best service team in the business, Fantastic IT also offers technology advice and virtual CIO services. So if you’re having trouble making judgment calls around BYOD, or simply want to see your company getting more from tech planning and expenditures, contact our sales team today.