One of the major advantages of newer technologies is their ability to connect employees working remotely. Connections to colleagues, data and files help make doing business more productive, effective and accurate, no matter where employees and their teams are.
That’s why more companies are establishing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. Such guidelines allow companies to save on the costs of providing employees with their own mobile devices or paying for their maintenance and replacement.
Adopting such policies requires companies to set clear guidelines for the use of such devices and what obligations employers and employees have.
What Are the Advantages to BYOD Policies?
Along with the cost reduction, there are several other advantages for companies that choose to use BYOD rules:
“Employees who are willing to spend their own money to procure their own devices can be a boom for their bottom line. In some ways, this is a perfect arrangement. Employees get to use their chosen device, which can improve productivity and morale while saving companies money,” notes a recent article.
What Are the Primary Disadvantages to BYOD Policies?
The primary concern for many companies considering adopting a BYOD policy is security. Consider that for every device you add to your network, that’s one more device that has access to sensitive, proprietary or protected information. A company-owned device provides far more control of what websites are accessible, when devices are updated and how usage is monitored. Companies can control what anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-phishing tools are installed and how frequently they’re updated. Control means a greater understanding of what’s protected and how.
Another concern to BYOD workplaces is compatibility and support. Your employees are likely using multiple devices with multiple operating systems and capabilities. Your IT team will likely be responsible for some aspects of device management, including installation and updating of apps, security processes such as VPN and other protections, and ensuring security patches are applied. Having more devices in play means more expertise is required of your IT employees.
When employees leave, there need to be clear procedures and auditing rules about ensuring that all access to company files, apps and data is removed immediately.
Scalability is another concern. As the number of employees grows, with some of them using multiple personal devices, the staff demand for management and updating grows accordingly. Company network infrastructure also needs to be expansive enough to accommodate all the new devices.
For employees, the main concern is privacy. Employees may wonder how much of their personal activity and device usage is accessible to their employers.
Are There Other Options Besides Company-Provided and BYOD?
Some companies choose one of two alternative policies that reduce the risk:
How Can Employers Maintain Security with BYOD?
Clear and consistent policies are key to effective BYOD workplaces. Here are a few of the considerations you should use when implementing BYOD policies:
When companies pay attention to the policies and guidelines necessary to ensure secure and proper use, BYOD policies can be an advantage to employers and employees alike.