One of the most well-known benefits of a bring your own device (BYOD) policy is savings. When employees use their own laptops for work purposes, you no longer have to purchase them yourself. This is just one of the ways a BYOD policy can be advantageous, but as a business owner you need to consider other factors before you implement it.
As a managed IT services provider, we advise our clients in Vancouver, Richmond, and Burnaby to think about the following pros and cons of BYOD.
Based on a recent Cisco Systems study, implementing a BYOD policy saves businesses an estimated $3,000 on hardware, telecommunications, and training costs. That’s because a significant portion of the costs of purchasing or replacing devices is shouldered by the employee.
A BYOD policy doesn’t eliminate all costs associated with IT equipment. You may still need to spend on repairs or parts replacement whenever an employee’s personal device breaks down, and some users will only agree to use their own devices if the company pays for upgrades and any other unexpected costs.
Windows laptop users will likely download and install security patches as soon as they become available. Users who have had a Windows computer for years know how important these patches are in keeping their device safe and will therefore act fast to keep security threats at bay.
Those who procrastinate instead of installing patches right away or are generally just not well-informed of urgent security updates run the risk of being hacked and exposing critical business data.
Connecting to unsecured public Wi-Fi can also put your company’s data at risk, so while it’s true that BYOD increases workforce mobility, it also reduces your control over business data.
Proactive employees will upgrade their devices’ hardware and software and rarely require help from your IT team. This makes things a bit easier for your IT department as they won’t have to deal with five-year-old laptops slowing down and becoming out-of-date.
On the other hand, you may have staff who fail to upgrade their devices until several weeks (or months) after a new hardware or software release, which may result in compatibility issues or data breaches. Those who use old laptops may also suffer low productivity because the device they’re using is sluggish, either due to outdated components or malware infection.
To avoid these issues, only employees with new technology should be allowed to register under your BYOD policy. That means those who own a 2011 Dell running Windows 7 should not be part of your BYOD plan.
Recent studies show that implementing a BYOD policy increases productivity, and that 69% of IT decision-makers approve of BYOD because they believe it saves time.
High employee satisfaction may reduce turnover, but it doesn’t prevent it altogether. And when staff resign, you must take extra steps to ensure no critical business data is left on their devices, which can be difficult if they leave you on bad terms.
Fortunately, there are a few varieties of BYOD policy you can enforce to keep your business data secure. You can also include a remote-wipe feature in your BYOD policy, which will authorize your company to erase business data over the internet in case of an employee resignation or a suspected security threat.
To BYOD or not to BYOD? That is the question many of our clients have asked. If you ask the IT support consultants at Dyrand Systems, the answer may not be so simple. We will assess your IT systems, learn your business goals, and create a BYOD policy that works for your organization. Call us today to learn more.