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Consider the Pros and Cons of Allowing Personal Devices in the Workplace

Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, has grown significantly in the business environment. You might even have a couple practitioners of BYOD in your own office; people who use their personally-owned devices for work purposes. However, just like any potential benefit, it also has drawbacks that need to be considered. How can you implement BYOD without experiencing too many of its drawbacks?

Ownership
The Pro: If your business wants to save money, you can allow your team to use their own personal devices for their daily duties. This can be helpful if you don’t want to purchase new devices and the required network attachments. For example, an employer and employee might be able to reach an agreement where some part of a smartphone’s data cost is covered by the business. In this situation, both parties save money, making it an appealing choice.

The Con: If you can reach a decision on the ownership of the phone, that’s great. However, can you answer who owns the data that’s stored by the device? If an employee were to leave the company and take sensitive data with them, does the employer have the right to delete files from their personal device? What about the integrity of the device itself? Is the owner responsible for fixing the device, or is the employer? On top of that, who’s responsible for private data?

Selection
The Pro: Under a BYOD policy, employees can select the technology that they feel most comfortable working with. This makes it easier to work than if you were to provide them with an operating system or a suite of applications that they’re not familiar with. Giving them the ability to take initiative and upgrade their device as they see fit can be both empowering and helpful, as they won’t have to jump through hoops with IT to get the devices they need.

The Con: When an employee is in control of their device selection, your IT department will probably be thrown into a frenzy. What level of responsibility and maintenance will they have over pain points like data access and security? If you let your team implement devices on a whim, it will be, more or less, impossible to standardize the applications and solutions you’ll need to properly manage their devices.

Availability
The Pro: Employees using their mobile devices for work purposes can potentially use their device while away from the office to get more work done, or to receive important phone calls. This provides the opportunity for quicker response time, which can make all of the difference in the heat of the moment.

The Con: If communications are bound to the office, there are more clear boundaries between your employees’ personal lives and their work duties. What’s stopping the employees from receiving phone calls from needy clients in the middle of the night, when they’re trying to rest up for the next workday?

Implementing a solid BYOD policy is no easy task, but it doesn’t have to be difficult, either. We can help your business fully leverage mobile devices through a mobile device solution. To learn more, contact us at 604.931.3633.

 

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Jeff Penner

Jeff Penner

Jeff has been in the managed services industry since 2015, understanding what business owners are looking for from technology, and helping them find it. The most important element for a business owner taking on a new technology partner is peace of mind and thus Jeff directs his efforts on finding practical information that any leader can apply to their business. Jeff lives in Vancouver, BC, sharing his love for learning and “the great indoors” with his 2 daughters.