“Bring Your Own Device,” or BYOD, is becoming a big trend in the workplace. More and more, employees are finding it preferable to use their own laptop, tablet and/or smartphone when it comes to accomplishing their day-to-day tasks.
That’s all well-and-good, and perfectly understandable from an employee perspective – why can’t I use the device I’m most familiar with to make it easier for me to get my job done? But BYOD does have implications beyond the device users. Fred in accounting wanting to use his Macbook while everyone else is using Dell laptops is going to cause problems for the IT staff that has to make it all work. Still, there’s value to be found in BYOD, so let’s see take a closer look at this new trend.
Device expenses. Obviously if our friend Fred in accounting is bringing his own laptop, the company doesn’t have to provide Fred with his own laptop. Just be aware that when Fred’s laptop stops working, the company may have to provide a stand-in until he gets a new one (or worse yet, will have to buy him a new one).
Network vulnerability. Different devices from different people utilize different security software and protocols. You, and more likely your IT team, will need to make sure there aren’t any gaps in network protection. It may be in the company’s best interest to invest in security software for personal devices.
Communications. As the variety of devices utilized by individuals and companies grows, there will be more demand/need for a communications platform compatible with all of those devices. Companies will be under more pressure to implement a unified communications (UC) solution. This technology is on the rise anyway, so BYOD would merely be expediting its inclusion in the workplace.
Support. If your company is utilizing Google for email and apps, or something similar that is supported externally, then BYOD probably won’t create as much of a strain on your IT department. If you’re still using Outlook and other non-cloud/web-based programs, then IT will have a much more difficult time operating at maximum efficiency.
Obviously this is just a quick overview of some of the questions companies will have to ask and answer as BYOD continues to grow in popularity. In order to know if there’s practicality and value in BYOD for your company, speak with your IT department and other employees throughout the organization. The pros – and cons – may be greater than you anticipated.