Traditionally, organizations supplied devices used by their employees, but this pattern is changing. Employees are often allowed access to company-owned resources (file server, wi-fi, printers, etc.) through their personal laptop computers and other devices. The practice is popularly known as BOYD, “Bring Your Own Device” to work.
Although, BYOD can deliver many benefits, it also generates immense challenges for your organization and employees. Here are the risks and benefits associated with BYOD in the workplace:
Benefits of BYOD
Perhaps the most significant benefit you should consider in deploying BYOD is increased flexibility and productivity. Granting employees access to the company database and allowing them to use their own devices streamlines work.
The practice enables employees to attain better work/life balance while increasing productivity. Your staff becomes more engaged and enthusiastic, with increased analytical capacity.
Increased Employee Satisfaction
When you permit employees to use their own devices at the workplace, they enjoy working more. They invest additional time exploring and understanding their devices in relation to their work. The employees enjoy working with devices that they are accustomed with, and would thus gain higher satisfaction.
The employees are, thus, less likely to require technical support. When they need the service or repair, they perceive it as more personal than for support on other office equipment.
Your organization can spend less on hardware and software. The responsibility is transferred to the employees who gladly take it up as they view it as a benefit. Employee acquaintance with their personal devices causes a reduction in the number of support calls. Also the employees, rather than the IT support, ensure that their devices and software are up-to-date.
Another advantage of using employee-owned devices in your organization is increased access to cutting-edge technology. The employee upgrades to the latest devices, and accompanying software platforms faster than the companies. Your organization will, thus, acquire competitive advantage with its customers due to the cutting edge technology. Your organization will make no additional investment in employee devices.
Risks with BYOD
Arguably security is the greatest concern when it comes to using personal devices in the work environment. Security fears mostly arise around data, since it is the institutional asset at risk.
Insufficient security on personally owned devices may expose sensitive corporate data to manipulation. Further, employees may expose sensitive company data, retained or accessible through their personal devices, after changing roles or leaving the organization.
Some employee may download untrusted applications or fail to update their devices, which might increase the vulnerability.
BYOD devices blur the line between employee liability and organizational liability. The practice raises challenges for the Information Technology departments due to increased need for consideration in intrusion of privacy.
While using BYOD, the employee may feel like they are losing their privacy rights when you, as the employer, has rights tied or gain access to the employee personal devices.
Copyright issues might arise on the ownership of creations, such as inventions created and accessed through employee-owned devices.
It might not be clear about the owner of such creations, the employer or the employee. Collision of interest in such innovation may lead to increased legal arrangements between you and the employee. Court cases can result in loss of time, erosion of reputation and loss of reliable employees in resignations.
You should craft an adequate business BYOD policy to mitigate the challenges and grab the benefits of using employee-owned devices in the workplace.
Written By Kevin Gray
Hello! I am the Sales Manager and one of the Senior IT Consultants @ EnvisionIT Solutions. I help our clients envision great technology solutions that help their businesses grow. Let me know if you have any questions. I am an avid outdoorsman who loves fly fishing and camping.