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“Bring your own device is a business policy of employees bringing personally owned mobile devices to their place of work and using those devices to access privileged company resources such as email, file servers and databases as well as their personal applications and data.” Bring your own device is becoming a widely accepted policy in many companies. As a result this is causing problems for IT departments but there are also several advantages for both for the company and its employees.
In the article “BYOD – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” there was four listed advantages, “cost savings, increased flexibility, increased productivity, and attractiveness to job seekers”. A company can save money by allowing its employees to use their own devices. They would not have to purchase the devices for their employees. Allowing workers to bring their own devices can increase productivity because the worker can have their devices with them at all times. “Eliminating barriers between home and work will allow employees access to all necessary information and can lead to increased work productivity as a result.” A company having a bring your own device policy can make a company more attractive to those seeking employment. “According to one study, 44% of job hunters find an offer more attractive if the employer allows them to use their own devices in some way.” A bring your device policy can give a company a hiring advantage over a company that does not have this policy.
The four disadvantages listed were, “data security, cost, privacy, and what happens when an employee leaves?”. The biggest worry when having a bring your own device policy in a company is data security. “Letting employees use their own devices for work purposes can lead to pertinent company data being compromised” IT departments face a problems finding the best methods to allow employees to access all of the data necessary while still keeping the data safe and secure. Even though a bring your own device can be a cost saving it actually can go wrong. 60% of companies still purchase the devices for their employees which can lead to the policy creating more costs. “Having to pay for the device and also the data plans that go along with the devices can actually raise the cost for the organization.” In addition the company would still need to set guidelines and security for those devices. Even though a majority of employees are willing to use their own devices at work many of them worry about privacy. The devices they bring to work are the same devices that they surf the web, log onto social media sites, and store personal information and files on. “Employees are wary about organizations being able to “spy” on them and have access to their personal passwords, websites, and information.” This policy allows employees to use their own devices for work purposes, but what happens if an employee quits or gets fired? “Organizations worry about retrieving all company data and information”. There are several different ways for companies to try and prevent an employee from keeping information past their time of employment. Employees are being required to sign official bring your own device policy forms, and many companies are only allowing work related information to be saved and edited on their own servers or be required to use secure cloud based sharing software.
In addition to the several advantages and disadvantages associated with a companies bring your own device policy, according to YFS Magazine a bring your own device policy can actually “empower your business”. “The prominent benefits of BYOD is the ability to make a workforce more agile, a business more mobile, and networks even more secure. When planned properly the results can be powerful and transformative.” YFS Magazine listed five key advantages to adopting a bring your own device policy those are; “Make mobile a transformative company culture strategy.”,”Strengthen your move to the cloud.”, “Improve real-time productivity and staff engagement.”, “Create a smaller, more skilled workforce.”, and “Tighten IT security.” Transitioning to a bring your own device policy moves away from an employee being fixed to use only their companies technology and services. Companies that have implemented this policy give employers more flexibility to work remotely, creatively, and quickly. Moving your business to the cloud can eliminate the need for “ fixed, physical IT infrastructure or networking.“ Having your company data in the cloud can lower IT costs and employees with their own devices can work from almost anywhere. This can significantly improve the productivity of your employees. One example given was “Business managers who carry devices into meetings can action document requests and changes immediately which serves to speed up the delivery of projects. This results in more projects being developed and delivered in tighter workflow timescales.” Having a bring your own device policy does still have its limitations. IT managers need to be sure that any data used on the devices used via the bring your own device policy is thoroughly safeguarded against any security issues. The bring your own device policy can cover which devices can and cannot be used by employees, as well as what apps can be used and how corporate information is allowed to be transferred, stored, and wiped.
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