BYOD in the Workplace: Pros & Cons

DepositphotoBYODEd2

There’s a new trend that is making tracks in the working world: The BYOD trend.

If it hasn’t hit your company yet, it may only be a matter of time before it does. The “Bring Your Own Device” trend is all about companies allowing employees to bring their own devices to work to be used for work purposes (which involves connecting them up to the company network).

This is the opposite of the HYOD (“Here’s Your Own Device”) trend which was previously more common in companies – a program where the company gives employees devices.

As with any new trend, there are pros and cons that could influence the way people see the increasing prevalence of the BYOD program in the workplace. Some aren’t even aware that these pros and cons exist.

Here are the pros and cons.

Pros:

Familiarity – One of the biggest pros in the BYOD program is that employees are able to use devices with which they are already familiar. The familiarity that employees have with their own devices allows them to tackle work-related tasks with increased ease and efficiency and in a more timely manner (because there is no time spent on getting comfortable with the device).

Flexibility – By allowing employees to use their own devices, employees are able to work anywhere at any time without needing to use flash drives to access work documents and without having to email work documents just to transfer them from one account to another.

Easy Updating – It is well known that updating a smartphone or the software on a tablet is far easier than updating a desktop computer.

Financial Viability –  BYOD means that employers save money (they don’t have to buy devices for each of their employees) and, due to the fact that employees will be paying for their own devices, they are more likely to take better care of the devices (which reduces costs for repairs and updating, if there are any costs at all).

Cons:

Liability – When it comes to blurring the distinction between work devices and personal devices, the question of who is liable for repair costs arises.

Who should pay for a new device if something goes wrong with the device or if it gets stolen while on work time? What about when one is using the device (or claims to be using the device) for work-related tasks outside of work hours and something goes wrong?

These are questions that need to be carefully considered and for which a solution ought to be provided before implementing the BYOD program in your company.

Security – Even though security on devices with access to private work information is important, it is more difficult to manage the security on personal devices.

Controlling Use – Companies using the BYOD program have to contend with the fact that they will be relinquishing control over the appropriate use of employee devices (there is little way of ensuring that the devices will be used appropriately).

Data Retrieval – After a contract has been terminated or when an employee leaves the company, it may be necessary to remove the company’s private information from the employee’s device, which could prove to be difficult (a way needs to be devised to prevent the potential misusing of information).

In order to limit the potential risks that could come from the implementing of the BYOD program, a policy should be put in place explaining the expected and acceptable use of personal devices in the workplace (in place of company provided ones).

It is then the role of the employee to ensure that he or she fully understands the BYOD program’s policies before agreeing to them.

All in all, what we can take from this information is that a well thought out BYOD policy and properly enlightened employees are important in guaranteeing the success of the BYOD program.

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