BYOD: Bring Your Own Device
The growing “IT consumerization” trend has been making inroads in the tech and business worlds. More and more employees are using at least one personal device for work, something many companies have begun to actively encourage. But what does the bring your own device policy mean for you and your business? PROS
- Cost effective for company. Since employees bring their personal devices to the office, companies have decreased equipment costs.
- Productivity. While hard to measure, some studies indicate that working from a personal device actually increases productivity. This is directly tied to satisfaction. People choose specific devices for a reason, so allowing them to work on their preferred device is usually seen as a positive rather than the negative of shouldering the cost.
- Latest technologies. In line with employees purchasing devices they prefer to work on, they are more likely to buy the latest and greatest technologies rather than go the economical route. More often than not, your business will benefit from the most up to date technologies available. Additionally, businesses are slow to update hardware whereas individuals will upgrade more regularly.
- Security. Perhaps the greatest disadvantage of the BYOD trend is the added security risk involved in personal computers. While many users would rather not have the inconvenience of a password or lock screen on their personal devices, these are the most basic safeguards to protecting company information. If an old device is sold, there is always the risk that some sensitive company data could still be there for the next owner to find. Putting in place an exit-strategy protocol for removing logins and company information should be considered.
- Acceptable use. Because these devices are used for both business and private activities, the line for acceptable use becomes blurred. If implementing a BYOD company policy, it is important to incorporate some rules for acceptable use and approved applications while at work.
- Ownership of data. The laws on ownership of ideas and data are complicated by the elimination of the distinction between work and personal devices. It is important to have a clear cut set of rules for what constitutes company owned material, the company’s asserted right to clear sensitive company data and what precautions individuals can take to backup their personal data.