‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) refers to the increasingly common practice of employees bringing their own smartphones, laptops, and tablets into the working environment in order to conduct business on them. It’s becoming more and more popular, but many business owners don’t know whether allowing it would help or harm their business. Here’s a quick list of advantages and disadvantages.
The Advantages of BYOD
Perhaps the most persuasive argument in favour of BYOD is that fighting the practice might be rather futile. The growth in cloud-based applications has led to a working environment in which portable devices are more necessary than ever, and many workers simply bring their own devices without permission.
However, there are more compelling benefits. Workers using their own devices tend to be happier and more productive since they are used to the technology and operating system. They will also be more likely to complete projects at home if they have everything necessary with them. Adopting a BYOD policy will also save you money, as there is no need to buy computers and other devices yourself.
The Disadvantages of BYOD
The most significant problem with BYOD is that you’ll essentially be relinquishing control over the devices themselves. In this situation, security becomes a major concern. All devices need to be adequately protected against malicious programs, and some personal devices will lack the appropriate technology or software. Employees may not use passwords, and could access compromising websites if the device is also the one they use while at home.
Additionally, it will be harder to update all devices since they may not run the same software. This can make something as simple as file sharing trickier than ever, although these are problems which are becoming less prevalent.
There are clearly some good reasons to hold back from adopting a BYOD policy, particularly for those businesses which regularly handle sensitive data. However, the trend is growing significantly, so it might be question of a ‘when?’ rather than ‘if?’ Should you be considering BYOD, the best option is to talk to an experienced IT support company. They’ll take your particular situation into account, then provide knowledgeable, impartial advice.