November 27, 2017 –
What is BYOD?
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device, and it has become a popular option for employers. And it’s popular with employees, too, as more and more team members want to work using their favorite (personal) devices. In fact, the BYOD and enterprise mobility market size is estimated to double from 2016 to 2017!* And this may be a great way to save some cash (after all, the employee is now paying for the hardware). But it may introduce other challenges (and costs) to your business as well. In this blog post we’ll example the pros and cons of BYOD for small and mid-sized businesses.
- User Preference – One of the most commonly cited pros to bringing your own device is strong user preference. As mobile devices integrate into our everyday lives, people will often have specific preferences. They may want a particular brand of device, operating system, and application. Users become comfortable with specific systems, and prefer to work with the same ones both at work and at home.
- Cost Savings – a BYOD policy can reduce the amount you need to spend up-front for the purchase of hardware. This can add up to lot of cash. Particularly if your business has a lot of people working remotely in field positions, at client sites, or engaging in sales calls.
- Improved Productivity – employees will often pay for hardware upgrades more often than a small or mid-sized businesses owner would for their team members. After all, it’s a large investment for the owner to do the upgrade without a major tangible benefit. But for the person using the device day in and day out it’s more likely to be worth the upgrade. With a BYOD policy, employees will more likely be using devices with the latest technologies, leading to improved performance and productivity.
- Security Risks – The most common concern about BYOD cited by technology experts is the increased potential for security risks. By introducing a wide set of diverse hardware and technologies onto your network, you create multiple vulnerable entry points to your network, increasing the likelihood of falling victim to a cyber-attack and ransomware.
- Increased IT Support Costs – By having a wide range of hardware and operating system types across your employees, it is potentially more expensive to provide technical support if a device is not functioning properly. Inconsistency can create different processes, different types of skills, and potentially more overhead for the IT team.
- User Concerns – some users do not like “mixing” their private and work information on a same device. They cite privacy concerns if the work IT department can access their device, and some security measures that need to be put in place may result in users losing data if the device needs to be wiped remotely (more on this later).
Moving Ahead with BYOD
If you decide to move ahead with BYOD, there are several steps you can take to mitigate some of the cons discussed above.
First, there are multiple Mobile Device Management solutions available in the marketplace. Depending on the solution(s), you can provide security policy implementation, device tracking, remote “wiping” of devices, application deployment, and overall control of devices.
In next week’s post we will review these solutions in more detail, and talk about how to implement a BYOD policy for your office to reduce risk and improve the process.
Until then, please feel free to Contact Us if you would like more information on implementing and managing a BYOD approach for your business.
*MarketsandMarkets™ INC., https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/PressReleases/byod.asp