BYOD Advantages & Important Considerations
BYOD is the practice of allowing employees to use their own devices for work purposes. As technology has blurred the lines between work and home, a strong BYOD culture has emerged across the US, and the rest of the world.
Most employees are on-board, and many companies also.
In 2017 - 59% of organizations allowed employees to use their own devices for work purposes. This figure increased to 61% for companies with >50 employees and 71% for companies with 50-250 employees.
Thousands of companies are reaping the benefits of bring your own device, it works well for the them, and it works well for their employees too.
But there are pitfalls; as many companies have found out. Before deciding to implement BYOD for your organization, read on about the benefits and some of the systems you should have in place to make sure your organization is ready.
Employees are familiar with the devices they bring to work, they’re comfortable using the operating system and there should be no learning-curve for them.
Companies who implement a BYOD policy often find that their employees are more responsive.
Since they often have their devices with them, they’re more likely to be available and respond when a problem arises.
When people use their own devices, they are also more likely to work outside of the office, understandably this can lead to greater levels of productivity.
NOTE: While improved productivity is something all companies strive for, it is also important to note that while BYOD can improve accessibility, companies should still look to emphasize proper work life balance. Just because your employees can answer emails after hours, doesn’t mean they should be.
The tech your staff members bring to work is often ahead of company issued devices due to the importance of IT needing to vet the devices managed by the company to be sure they provide the necessary functions for the company. Due to this necessary process, often your employees will have updated their own devices faster than the company can.
No one likes working with allegedly “ancient” tech, that’s a surefire way to employee dissatisfaction.
61% of Gen Y workers believe their tech tools are more productive then their work ones - Dell
Cost savings to you
The most obvious of BYOD advantages are the cost savings. Without having to purchase phones and mobile service plans for employees the company can save many thousands of dollars a month.
However, while many companies save money from using BYOD, in the essence of fairness, offering an appropriate incentive to enable company email on their phone such as partial mobile service reimbursement on a monthly basis can still prove cheaper than buying and managing hundreds of company devices.
Important Considerations for BYOD
While BYOD can be a win win for your company, there are some important considerations for how to implement BYOD securely and successfully.
The biggest concern for most businesses with BYOD is security. What happens if an employee connects to an unsecure Wi-Fi using their device? Or the device gets stolen or they leave the company?
Before implementing BYOD, companies need to evaluate their current network security systems and implement an MDM solution to onboard employee phones into the BYOD access program. All company resources should be blocked for mobile devices not enrolled via an MDM program.
These programs will require employees to setup device encryption and access control (strong passcodes, fingerprint enrollment, etc.). In addition, the program will set up what is known as a ‘sandbox’ where the company email and any documents pulled from corporate resources will be stored. In the event of the phone being lost or the employee being terminated a ‘selective wipe’ of these items will cause the emails and documents to be deleted, protecting your companies interests while leaving the users personal data in-tact. Some MDM solutions even offer a phone-locating feature which could be used if an employee misplaced their phone. This could be used to avoid needing to wipe the device if it wasn’t stolen, but just misplaced.
If employees face a problem with their own device, how will it be supported? When staff members bring their own devices, you potentially have a wide range of devices and operating systems that need supporting in different ways. However, you will be limited to some degree to the phones which the MDM software supports, surveying what phones your employee’s have may be helpful in determining the best MDM package. There will inevitably be employees who don’t have a supported device, those folks can likely be issued a company paid device assuming their management approves of it.
All things considered, these pitfalls can be overcome with a well-established bring your own device policy and robust MDM software solution.
With the right plan and thorough and collaborative onboarding process, your company can reap the benefits of BYOD without compromising your company’s security. Plan out what resources will require MDM enrollment and proper procedures for dealing with termination or lost devices and you will be well on your way to a successful BYOD roll-out!