When facing a tough decision, I grab my tablet and put together a pro/con list. No matter how you make a decision, it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons. What type of time investment will we need? How much will it cost? How will it impact our bottom line? The list of questions goes on.
This same notion can be applied to technology decisions. BYOD, bring your own device, is a growing trend for businesses everywhere. There are numerous benefits to employees using their own device at work, but there are also some concerns. Before embracing BYOD, let’s make a pro/con list so you can make your decision with confidence.
- Cost cutting. BYOD programs generally shift costs to the user, therefore, cutting business costs. According to the Good Technology State of BYOD Report, 50 percent of companies with BYOD models are requiring employees to cover all costs, no expense back or stipend.
- Work satisfaction. Why do people purchase their own devices? Because they want them. There is no doubt that employees would rather use the devices they enjoy and are comfortable with above what their company provides.
- Cutting Edge Technology. It is difficult for companies to purchase the newest and greatest technologies every time one hits the market. With BYOD, users are likely to update their technologies frequently.
- Flexible work hours. Employees can work from home or at their lunchtime meeting.
- Quicker response rates. With the ability to work anytime, anywhere, response rates to important decisions will be accelerated.
- Data, compliance and ownership. Security is the number one concern of BYOD programs, and it needs to be the prime focus to ensure there are no data breaches. Businesses who must comply to government mandates have specific requirements related to information security and safeguarding. These rules must be followed, even on someone’s personal device.
- Off boarding. In the event that a worker is let go or leaves the company, segregating and retrieving company data can be difficult.
- Liability for devices if lost or hacked. If a BYOD machine breaks, who will pay for it?
- Lack of consistency. With BYOD, employees are in control of what applications and data are added to their device.
- Personal vs. Work. When your company purchases a device for work-use only, restrictions can be implemented. You can put only the programs you want on the device and dictate no personal use. However, with BYOD, it is difficult to manage what employees are using the device for.
Along with making the pro/con list, don’t forget to ask yourself these important questions:
- How will we back up data on employees’ devices?
- Will we provide operation systems for all devices?
- Will we be required to pay for employee’s phone bill, Internet access, etc.? If so, is this cost-effective?
- Can BYOD devices be synched with company devices?
While BYOD can be helpful to companies, it can also be harmful if not implemented with the right strategy. So before moving forward, make your pro/con list and list of questions to see if your company is ready. Then make sure you build a concrete strategy that aligns with your companies overall technology strategy.