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BYOD (everything you need to know)

Bringing your own device to work (BYOD) is a trend that continues to grow in popularity among businesses. It’s not hard to see why – the BYOD movement gives employees greater flexibility, improves productivity, and provides access to important work documents on personal devices wherever they are.

However, implementing a BYOD program isn’t without its disadvantages. If you’re thinking of introducing BYOD at your company, there are some factors you should take into consideration before making your decision. In this blog post, we break down the pros and cons of BYOD so that you can make an informed decision about whether it’s right for your business.

What is BYOD?

The term “bring your own device” (BYOD) refers to the trend among employees to use personal devices for work purposes. BYOD is often used interchangeably with “workplace mobility”, which refers to the use of mobile technology to increase worker productivity.

Most organisations today are supporting employees to work remotely or manage a flexible work schedule, and allow the use of personal laptops, smartphones, and tablets to connect to the business network to access data and resources needed to perform their roles.

By allowing employees to select the device that best fits their location and needs, businesses can save money and enhance efficiency. Employees who work in hybrid settings, spending time both in the office and remote locations, are included. Many organisations have stopped requiring their employees to be located in the same city, state, or country.

Why do organisations adopt BYOD?

There are many reasons why organisations might choose to adopt a BYOD policy. Some of the most common are listed below:

Enhanced productivity

Employees are more likely to be more efficient and productive when they are given the choice of device to work on that best suits their specific job roles and needs. Some research suggests employees work faster when using their own technology for their jobs.

Reduce IT costs

If a business has a BYOD policy, it doesn’t have to buy devices for each employee. Because there is less need for IT spending on hardware and devices, capital expenditure costs have been reduced, and those savings can be directed elsewhere, such as to licensing subscriptions for collaboration and communication software.

Employee engagement

When employees are trusted to perform their jobs well with flexible work arrangements, satisfaction and morale increase. This spike in employee satisfaction and morale may result in a boost in company loyalty and retention rates.

Boost company culture

When employers give their employees more freedom and flexibility, they are signalling that they trust them and value their input and feedback. By doing so, employee engagement is likely to increase, which in turn is likely to result in an improvement in company culture and morale.

The cons of a BYOD program

While bringing your own device to work has many benefits, it also has some drawbacks. Let’s explore some of the most important ones below.

Security challenges: The biggest worry companies have about adopting a BYOD policy is the security issues it may cause. Because data on employee-owned devices is less safeguarded than data on company-owned devices, IT security teams must pay closer attention.

Increased IT resources: BYOD may appear to be a cost-saving measure, but in reality, it could end up being the opposite. More devices in the IT environment may lead to increased support costs, both in terms of additional staff and troubleshooting time.

New liability risks: Employees may use, store, share, and manage company data in a manner that affects both security and the business itself. If a device is lost or if data on the device must be accessed, how is this handled in terms of corporate data privacy? When an employee leaves the company, how is company data safeguarded from being disclosed to others?

How to build a BYOD program

In light of the pros and cons of BYOD that we’ve discussed, let’s take a look at how companies can implement a BYOD program. There are several things that companies can do to ensure that their BYOD program is implemented properly.

Engage employee feedback

When establishing a BYOD program, companies should ask their employees if they would like to bring their own devices to work. In addition, companies may also inquire what devices their employees would like to bring to work. This will enable companies to determine what devices their employees prefer, allowing them to choose a BYOD program that benefits the greatest number of their employees.

Provide appropriate training

While it is crucial to have security policies in place, it is just as critical that employees understand the purpose of cybersecurity awareness. All employees should undergo BYOD security awareness training to ensure they are security-aware when it comes to phishing attacks, third-party software downloads, password theft, etc. This will guarantee a multi-layered approach to mobile device security and reduce the likelihood of data breaches and security leaks.

Clarify permitted devices

Employees should also be aware of what types of devices are permitted and what type of devices they should bring. Because remote working becoming more popular, most organisations now allow any device that adheres to their security requirements.

Implement security protocols

Employees’ personal devices may not have as robut cybersecurity protocols in place, leading to an increased risk of security breaches. Basic BYOD security measures are important to keep employee and business data safe. This list includes password management, multi-factor authentication, antivirus software, endpoint data encryption, data backups, and others. Mobile device management and mobile application management solutions can encourage strong security policy adherence.

Is BYOD the only option?

BYOD is certainly growing in popularity, but it is not always the best choice for organisations that want to maintain more control over the devices their employees use. There are alternatives to BYOD, including:

  • Employees are allowed to personalise and use non-work related applications on company-owned devices, although there are still restrictions in place.
  • Employees can choose from a variety of pre-approved devices purchased by the organisation
  • Companies allow and encourage employees to choose the SaaS applications that they believe bring the most value to their job, regardless of whether the device is personal or company owned.

Get the right tools to lead your business into the future

Every corporation has unique requirements when it comes to the technology and applications required for future growth and long-term success, especially in today’s competitive sector. It can be challenging to keep up with technology, particularly if you are planning on implementing a BYOD program.

If your business is considering a bring your own device program, explore all your options with the IT consulting experts at INTELLIWORX, who can ensure you make the right decision for your company’s future.

Shane Maher

We passionately work on the IT Infrastructure of mid-tier businesses and support MSPs into cloud services. I have over 17 years of commercial experience that includes supporting and managing IT systems, developing infrastructure solutions, both onsite & in the cloud.

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