BYOD, the acronym for Bring Your Own Device, is a movement that has experienced significant growth over the past few years — a boom only made possible with the growing popularity of laptops and other mobile devices.
But what exactly are the risks and rewards associated with this new way of doing business? Here are the top 3 risks and rewards of BYOD as we see them.
1. IT Security
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Top 4 BYOD Challenges for Small and Midsize Businesses, implementing an effective and secure BYOD policy BEFORE you allow your employees to bring their own device to work is incredibly important. With a policy of rules in place, employees are better able to find safe and secure ways to remotely access their more sensitive data.
While BYOD gives a lot of control to workers in that it enables them to work on their own devices in a way that suits them best, a lot of control is being given up by business owners and their IT departments.
3. Compliance and Ownership
Some industries (usually healthcare and financial institutions) have compliance mandates (like HIPAA, and GLBA) that require that data have certain safeguards and security settings in them to make sharing and accessing them more secure.
If you are providing your own equipment for your employees to work on, then you can set rules so that these mandates are easily complied with. If employees are accessing that data from their own personal devices without those safeguards in place, they run the risk of exposing sensitive data to hidden threats.
1. User Familiarity = Productivity
One of the benefits of employees bringing their own devices to work is that they are usually familiar with the equipment they choose to use. Some employees work better on laptops, some work better with iPads, some work better on Apple computers, and some work better on PCs; studies have shown people are more productive using their own devices.
The costs of equipment start to increase exponentially when you add in the costs of maintaining that equipment. With BYOD, you are not responsible for buying or maintaining the equipment your employees are using, and so the costs fall on them instead of on your business.
Providing equipment (computers, monitors, keyboards, etc.) for all of your workers can get very expensive very quickly. Saving money on office costs is one of the major reasons BYOD has become so popular. However, many experts are starting to say that BYOD will actually end up costing the employers more in the long run. Soon this may be a risk instead of a reward.
What do you think? Is BYOD something you already do? Are there are any risks or rewards that we missed?