With more than 80% of companies currently allowing their employees to use personal devices for work-related communications, BYOD (or bring your own device) policies are now commonplace compared to even 10 years ago. The most common mobile devices are smartphones, tablets, and smartphones.
Is BYOD a healthy tech mobility concept for companies to embrace, or is it a looming disaster? Either way, most industries are accepting it. An HP Teradici study discovered the industries that are most interested in or are already using a BYOD policy:
- Education (69%)
- Finance (50%)
- IT & Technology (45%)
- Government & Military (43%)
- Healthcare (40%)
- Media & Entertainment (39%)
To make an educated decision, what exactly are the pros and cons of incorporating a bring your own device policy at your company? 561 Communications recommends you consider the following:
- What About Security?
- Less Cost, or Chaos?
- Increased Productivity, or Higher Risk of Distraction?
What About Security?
The biggest concern for companies with BYOD policies? Security. This cannot be stressed enough. From data breaches to employees retaining access to company information even after their employment has ended, security should be a company’s number one concern if it is considering a BYOD policy.
To reinforce the point, here’s the data: 50% of companies who allowed BYOD experienced a large data breach through an employee’s lost or stolen device, and 60% of companies with a BYOD policy neglected to remove company data from their former employees’ devices.
Employers do have the option to enforce BYOD policies that raise security measures for employees’ devices and minimize the company’s overall vulnerabilities. A few methods include using strong passwords and data encryption, storing sensitive information in a cloud rather than a user’s device, and installing software that can wipe a device, if needed.
Less Cost, or Chaos?
Companies that allow their employees to use their own mobile devices in their day-to-day business operations are benefitting in two ways: employees appreciate the familiarity of using their own device, and employers are not having to pay up-front costs.
The losing party, however, tends to be the employer’s IT department (if there is one). With company-owned devices, IT techs maintain, inventory, and update devices following the department’s predetermined standards and protocols. A BYOD policy, however, not only creates chaos in terms of troubleshooting various devices and softwares but also in ensuring security.
While this chaos is not unavoidable, it wouldn’t hurt to consult your IT department and consider ways to streamline and simplify the BYOD requirements in favor of company security and workplace efficiency. An example might be a BYOD policy requiring the use of certain approved devices, such as Macs.
Increased Productivity, or Higher Risk of Distraction?
Market research company Frost & Sullivan found that employees who used their own devices for work recovered 58 minutes of their day for work-related productivity, which increased their overall productivity by 34%. Whether this was due to employees taking their mobile devices home with them, to meetings, or lunch, is unknown. Either way, 34% more work completed is not a bad trade for employers!
At the same time, it isn’t uncommon for employees to also be distracted from their work with a BYOD policy. Notifications from their professional job (emails, team chats, etc.) and personal life (phone calls, social media, etc.) are both vying for an employee’s attention.