The concept of Bringing Your Own Device is all about striking a balance between improving connectivity and flexibility for employees who use their handsets in a work situation, and managing the IT and security challenges that can result from using the strategy.
There are a series of trending initiatives in the business arena right now and BYOD is making significant inroads with an estimated more than 40% of employees already using their own technology at work.
Some believe that BYOD can help employees to be more productive and those same people are also of the opinion that allowing an employee to use their own device increases morale and enhances the opinion that the employer is a flexible and more attractive employer to work for as a result of this forward-thinking attitude.
BYOD might offer the prospect of cheaper and more flexible IT for employers but it is fair to say also, that it will not work for every company.
One downside to consider for employers is that a number of staff will resent paying for their own phones and laptops that are then going to be used to carry out their work. Some employees might see that as an underhand way of cutting overheads and costs rather than a move to empower the staff.
Unless you are going to subsidise their outlay in some way then many employees will either treat BYOD with cynicism or simply reject the idea altogether.
Perceived cost savings
One the principal reasons why BYOD has become so popular is that it is an idea that is perceived to offer significant cost savings to the employer. The fundamental reason why you may not achieve the cost savings you are expecting is that when you order your hardware through the business, you can often get a discount for bulk-buying, whereas if each laptop or phone is bought separately by each individual employee, the same cost savings will not be achieved if you are then re-imbursing them for some or all of the cost.
You are probably unlikely to find too many fans of BYOD in your company IT department. When you have uniformity in the devices that you buy from a supplier such as liGo then there are very few IT issues like compatibility to contend with, as all the devices will work in a structured and uniform way because IT have been able to control the setup process.
When you introduce a wide range of different devices such as laptops and phones into the system, due to personal choice for the employee, then you potentially create a number of problems and potential security weaknesses too.
Another area where BYOD can present potential problems is with data loss. Sensitive data could be placed on an employee’s phone and if it is lost that is a security breach problem as well as a data recovery nightmare.
BYOD certainly has its upsides especially in the eyes of employees, but from an employers point of view it could be argued that any short term gain could turn into long term pain, if it is not managed properly.