Business owners and managers may already be familiar with the term BYOD, which stands for “bring your own device.” Companies that put this policy into place allow (or sometimes expect) workers to use their own personal devices such as smartphones and tablets for work purposes.
With more people all around the world adopting mobile technology in their personal lives, it’s no wonder that BYOD has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Some consultants are predicting that by 2017, half or more of the workforce might be required by employers to bring their own devices to work.
Does the rising popularity of BYOD mean it’s good for every business? Not necessarily. Here are some important factors to consider.
In some ways, having employees bring their own devices makes things less complicated for managers and business owners. Workers can use the devices that they find to be the most helpful for them. They can also keep applications and files organized in a way that suits their particular work flow. For employers, BYOD means that the onus of shopping for these expensive devices is one less thing to worry about.
On one hand, requiring employees to bring their own devices shifts the burden from purchasing smartphones and tablets from employers to workers. On the other hand, without proper control of how these devices are used, it’s impossible to know with certainty whether they are presenting some other kind of financial liability. Consider the fact that if a smartphone with sensitive information is lost, it could represent costly damages for an organization or business.
Worried about malware? Data mining viruses are just one of the security threats that BYOD devices face. Without a proper mobile security protocol, smartphones and tablets used by workers can become an open invitation for hackers and identity thieves to access a gold mine of information. Just by accessing an email account, a hacker could easily impersonate a co-worker or superior, using personal information as leverage to persuade others into divulging company secrets.
What are some pros and cons that you’ve experienced while working with BYOD? Share your stories in the comments below!