With 85% of Americans now owning a smartphone, one thing is certain: there are plenty of personal devices in the workplace. As a result, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is gaining traction as many businesses embrace the trend. But what are the pros and cons of BYOD, and do the advantages outweigh the risks for your business?
As you consider the advantages and disadvantages of adopting a BYOD strategy, know that EZComputer Solutions is your trusted partner in managed IT services, cybersecurity, and data backup. So, whether you decide to use BYOD in your own company or not, know that we’re here to help make your technology problems disappear and keep your operations trouble-free.
The Advantages of Using Personal Devices for Work
Keeping your operations running with BYOD is increasing in popularity. BYOD has now grown to the point where 59% of companies allow personal devices for work, and another 13% are planning to enable it. And for good reasons too. Companies using BYOD see increased productivity, more flexibility, and business savings.
Numerous surveys point to increased productivity as the most significant reason many companies are adopting BYOD policies. BYOD permits employees to access company data and networks from their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
Employees report that they are more productive on their own devices, often because they’re more familiar with the technology and layout. For example, a Cisco study stated that U.S. workers saved an average of 81 minutes per week by using their own devices.
Part of the reason is that users are already familiar with their gadgets and can use the same time-saving apps for work as they do for their personal life. In addition, employees who are allowed to choose their own devices find it easier and more enjoyable to use them, resulting in greater productivity.
The flexibility that personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops provides makes them attractive for employees and employers. Depending on the job role, much of an employee’s work can be accomplished anywhere in the world. This flexibility makes situations like out-of-town conferences or time off to tend to a sick child more productive since the employee can work remotely.
Many employees, especially younger generations, value the ability to work outside the confines of the office. And since COVID-19, more employees are working from home than ever before. Remote work often increases job satisfaction and results in a better quality of work. As a result, employees can find a better work/life balance while still maintaining the cybersecurity necessary to protect their employers’ business.
Decreased Hardware Investment
Many companies see the boom of BYOD as a potential cost-savings opportunity. However, BYOD saves a company a lot more money than simply the cost of the initial equipment purchase. Savings continue throughout the device’s lifecycle because the company isn’t required to spend the time or money to provide repairs and support.
Increased Business Savings
How much your business can save by using BYOD depends on your current IT budget and how many employees will use their own devices versus company-provided hardware. Some studies suggest your business could save $350 per year per employee—others over $3,000 per year per employee. No matter the actual savings for your company, employee-owned devices could prove to be a significant cost-saving strategy for many businesses.
The Disadvantages of Using BYOD
So now that we’ve talked about the advantages—greater employee productivity, better job satisfaction, and decreased hardware costs—it’s time to assess the risks. Naturally, security issues rank high on the list, but other cons of BYOD to consider are establishing a BYOD policy, lack of support, and privacy concerns.
Security, Security, Security
The biggest concern businesses have over adopting a BYOD strategy centers around security, primarily losing or compromising data. These risks can take many forms, including:
- Lost, stolen, or unauthorized access to devices
- Attacks and threats, such as malware, scams, and fake apps
- Endpoint security and compliance for personal devices that are accessing the company’s network
- Using work email for personal online activities
- Using a cloud service to send or share work documents without IT permission
- Storing work passwords on the device
Working with a trusted IT consultant can help mitigate these risks and protect your business from lost or compromised data.
Needing to Establish a BYOD Policy
We know you’re thinking, “Oh no! Not another policy to add to my list!” But if you allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes, you need to implement a BYOD policy. Topics should include:
- Using personal devices to access company email, sensitive documents, or corporate resources
- Establishing an overall security strategy
- Managing access to corporate resources on a case-by-case basis
- Outlining appropriate uses
- Setting up cybersecurity protocols
- Deciding which devices are acceptable for professional use
Device Security Protocols
Another disadvantage of BYOD is not monitoring whether device security protocols are installed and updated regularly. At a minimum, all personal devices should require a password for access, have anti-spyware and antivirus software installed, and use an approved operating system to access corporate resources. It makes it difficult for employers to support their employees when their device crashes or breaks since they don’t have the same access to it as they would a company device.
Server-Side Security Measures
Since absolute control over employee devices is not guaranteed, companies will also want to investigate server-side security methods. These methods restrict access to sensitive corporate data, monitor employee downloads from the corporate network, and deny access to unapproved apps and potential threats. However, this can also lead to privacy concerns, as some employees won’t want their employer to monitor personal information on their home computers.
Want to know more pros and cons of BYOD? Contact EZComputer Solutions!
BYOD isn’t going anywhere. Of course, you need to decide what’s best for your business, but you can’t ignore the growing reality of personal devices in the workplace.
If you are considering implementing a BYOD policy, be sure to discuss your plans with a reliable IT consultant, like EZComputer Solutions. We can provide you with more details on all the pros and cons of BYOD, along with sound strategies and advice to implement good BYOD policies. Then, get a quote today to learn how we can help maximize the security of your BYOD policy.