BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a phenomenon that is here to stay. Look at your average bus or train and you’ll see at least half of the passengers onboard glued to the screen of one device or another. Businesses haven’t become immune to this. They have to deal with the fact employees want to be mobile and they want to work when they please. This is particularly the case for people who work part-time from home and only come into the office on occasion.
Whilst there are a lot of advantages to BYOD, it can cause problems. There are downsides to it. Any business that wants to operate this type of policy must take precautions first. To help you understand both sides of the argument, we’ve decided to focus on the negatives of BYOD.
To put it simply, you can’t control the hardware that isn’t in your hands. As a company, you have no right to walk up to an employee and demand to see their device. They would likely call their union in a matter of seconds. This is one downside of BYOD. You can’t be sure that every piece of hardware has the latest security patches.
Furthermore, all devices weren’t born equal. The different brands have better records when it comes to security. The chances are you aren’t aware of the track records of every exotic smartphone maker in the world. This can make security difficult to handle.
What about Privacy?
A work computer isn’t a personal computer. It doesn’t have the personalisation of a computer in someone’s home. And that’s a good thing. It means even if someone did breach its systems attackers wouldn’t find out much about a company’s workers. Hackers also couldn’t use personal information to mount an attack in the first place. You don’t have the same protections when it comes to personal devices. They’re highly personalised and a successful security breach could lead to every piece of information about your employees leaking out.
Efficiency and productivity are important for any company. When you provide electronic devices for use, you know where you stand. If one has problems, you’re the person who will step in and fix them. When it comes to a personal device, it’s not your responsibility. You’re relying on the other person to keep it in working condition. It leaves you with a problem. You aren’t in control. For any company, this can be disastrous.
Another point we have to make is on the reliability of your employees. Let’s say they like to do work from their smartphone or tablet. They’re carrying this around with them all the time. It’s far more likely they’re going to suffer a breakage than a device that’s kept under lock and key in the office all the time.
You have to have a comprehensive policy on what you should do, if someone’s personal device breaks. Failure to do so can lead to your company having to deal with missed deadlines and lost work.
Overall, BYOD isn’t something you have to fear. When controlled correctly, it can prove a powerful asset for any business. The ability to offer such flexibility is highly attractive for the best talent in all industries. It also enables people to have access to work outside of the office, thus making your workforce more capable of meeting deadlines and accomplishing goals.
For the time being, consider giving BYOD a try on a limited basis. If it doesn’t work, you can always switch back. It’s not something for everyone, but you never know until you try.