Bring your own device (BYOD) policies have been around for several years, but they’ve gained popularity as hybrid and remote working has become the norm. BYOD policies are also very much in demand among employees who are looking for more flexibility, improved productivity, and ease of access to work files using their personal devices.
But implementing a BYOD policy in your organisation shouldn’t be something you take lightly. There are so many things to consider before launching such a program, so read on and learn what you need to know about BYOD.
What is a BYOD Policy?
BYOD refers to ‘bring your own device’ and allows employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. These devices may include smartphones, laptops, or tablets.
Many companies today are embracing the hybrid workforce, allowing their employees to work some of the time in the office and the rest of the time in a remote location, whether that is from home or a satellite workspace. The use of personal devices allows greater flexibility for employees to connect to a business network and have consistency with the device they are using.
The benefits of a BYOD policy
There is a wide range of benefits that come with BYOD policies. Employees can use the device they are most comfortable using, that best fits their work needs, which can help increase productivity and creativity. The ability for employees to work from any location at any time is another major benefit of BYOD policies. The device an employee uses to work remotely can help them remain connected with their team members, clients, and company management.
Enhanced productivity: An employee’s job performance is likely to improve and they’re likely to work faster when they are allowed to choose the device that best suits their specific job roles and needs.
Reduce IT costs: BYOD policies eliminate the need for business to buy devices for each employee, IT spending on hardware and devices has been reduced, resulting in lower capital expenditure costs. Those savings can then be used to pay for collaboration and communication software subscriptions.
Employee engagement: Increased employee satisfaction and morale can result when employees are trusted to perform their jobs well with flexible work arrangements.
Boost company culture: When employers give their employees more freedom and flexibility, they are communicating that they trust them and value their input and feedback. This, in turn, is likely to increase employee engagement, which in turn is likely to result in an improvement in company culture and morale.
Drawbacks of a BYOD policy
The biggest drawback of BYOD policies is the risk of corporate data loss or theft. If employees use their own devices to store company data, there is a possibility that the device could be lost or stolen, or that the device isn’t secured properly and becomes a weak point in the company network that can be exploited by malicious actors.
Another potential drawback of BYOD policies is the extra work that is associated with managing all of these devices. If the company allows employees to bring their own devices, then IT must manage and secure them. This can be a challenge, especially if the company uses different operating systems. However, there are many different remote management tools that can help make this process easier.
There is also the question of liability when it comes to company data. How is corporate data privacy affected if employees use, store, share, and manage company data? What happens if a device is lost or if data on it must be accessed? How is company data safeguarded from being disclosed to others when an employee leaves the firm?
When to use a BYOD policy
In order to decide when it’s a good idea to implement a BYOD policy, you must first consider what type of company you have. If your employees work from home, or you have a highly mobile workforce, then you might also want to consider implementing a BYOD policy. As long as your employees have high-end, reliable devices, then a BYOD policy could be the way to go.
If you have a highly regulated industry, and your company deals with sensitive information, then your BYOD policy should include mobile device security. This is especially true if your employees work on highly confidential projects.
How to implement a BYOD policy
If you are considering implementing a BYOD policy, there are a few things that you should do first.
First, you should assess how many devices your IT team can support. If your IT team can’t support all of the devices that your employees would like to use, then you may want to reconsider implementing a BYOD policy. One way to go about it is to allow only devices that run a certain operating system. This will make it easier for your IT team to manage everything.
Next, you’ll want to decide how you will manage security. This is one of the most important aspects of implementing a BYOD policy. You’ll either want to use an existing management system or hire an external company for help.
BYOD security and training
Implementing a BYOD policy will present many challenges for companies, but security isn’t one of them. In order to secure all of these devices, you’ll want to use remote management tools. These tools make it easier for IT to collect data from all of these devices, while also making it easier for employees to report issues or make changes to their device.
You’ll also want to implement a clear BYOD policy, which should address issues like device selection, backup procedures, and acceptable use. It’s also a good idea to consider a contract with employees to help cover all of these bases.
It’s important to provide employees with training on how to properly use and secure their devices. Provide employees with regular training, including instructions on how they can protect their device against threats and how they can properly store sensitive data. You’ll also want to create an environment where employees can ask questions and get help with their devices.
Lead your business into the future with BYOD
Every corporation has different technology and application needs for future growth and longevity, particularly in today’s competitive environment. Keeping up with technology can be a challenge as it evolves and changes so rapidly. When you work with the IT consultants at INTELLIWORX to create a bring your own device policy, you can be certain you are making the right choice for your organisation’s future.