The “Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD, trend is a growing one in the business arena. According to a Forbes, more than 80% of employed adults use at least one personal device (such as cellphones, tablets or computers) for business use and 74% of companies allow their employees to use their own devices. Like other technology trends, there are upsides and downsides to the BYOD phenomenon, and ways to ensure that it is used correctly.
There are a couple of concerns when it comes to BYOD usage. The main issue for many businesses is control. Since it is the employee’s device, they have complete control over the apps and data they access, not the company. This lack of control correlates with a second issue when it comes to letting employees use their own devices: security. Since there is no control over what employees do with their devices, they run the risk of downloading apps and data that are not secure and could pose a threat to your company technology. Many employees are not aware of what apps could present a risk or even aware of what constitutes a risk.
Another major issue in terms of BYOD is deciding what constitutes acceptable use. With company-owned devices, what is and is not acceptable is pretty easy to define. It is harder to define those uses when the employee owns the device and uses it for both business and personal reasons.
Many companies are allowing their employees to use their own devices for work-related purposes because it offers their company several huge benefits that may outweigh the negatives. One of the main advantages of allowing employees to bring their own device is that it often saves the business money. When employees use their own cellphone or computer, they pay for it themselves, which can save companies as much as $80/month per employee.
According to an eWeek.com article, increased employee productivity and efficiency is another major benefit of BYOD. 64% of IT managers surveyed said they felt allowing employees to use their own devices would increase productivity and efficiency and 42% of employees enrolled in BYOD programs said that they saw a rise in both areas.
Before you start allowing employees to use their own devices, make sure you do your research to determine if a BYOD policy will work for your company and employees. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when considering BYOD:
- Evaluate: Consider whether or not the benefits outweigh the negatives, or vice versa.
- Educate employees: Make sure your employees are aware of the risks of using their own devices for work purposes. If employees are educated about the risks and potential errors, they are less likely to make them.
- Create a strategy: According to Padmasree Warrior, CTO of Cisco, organizations need to create a mobile strategy and should especially consider potential security issues.
- Communicate: You need to be clear about expectations and rules for when employees use their own devices. Once you have a policy for use in place, communicate that with your employees so they know what to expect.
Cloud computing is one of the major contributing factors to the growth of the BYOD trend. When you sign your business up for IronOrbit’s cloud services, you can “anywhere enable” your data and applications so that employees can access them on their own devices. Your customized cloud comes with several benefits, including our 4-D Data Security, regular data backups and 24-7 technical support all for a low, fixed monthly fee.