How to weigh BYOD benefits and risks
Employees bring their personal devices to work, but many companies don’t have formal bring your own device (BYOD) programs. There are risks with BYOD that could hold your company back from an implementation, but there are BYOD benefits to consider as well.
Pros and cons
Do the advantages of BYOD outweigh its drawbacks?
You shouldn’t open the floodgates and let users bring in any devices they want. There are some strong reasons not to allow BYOD, including — but certainly not limited to — the security concerns. You’ll probably need to invest in mobile device management (MDM) and/or mobile application management (MAM) software to help you control the risks, and you should definitely have some BYOD policies in place.
But if you do adopt BYOD, you might just save your company a bundle of money and make employees happier at the same time. Whether BYOD will benefit your organization depends on your company, so weigh the risks against the rewards before you decide whether to board up your windows against mobile devices or let them fly free.
BYOD has the potential for big cost savings because organizations don’t waste money on corporate phones. Plus, when an employee can work from and use a device of his own choosing, it’s more enjoyable than being forced to use a corporate-issued device. That means happier and more productive users. Another advantage of BYOD is that it supports a mobile and cloud-focused IT strategy. From their personal mobile devices, employees can access their work in the cloud, further improving productivity.Continue Reading
Companies can track employees’ activity on their personal devices, delete personal data and see Web activity, which workers aren’t partial to. But in many cases, management and the legal department don’t want to know what users are up to either. To help preserve BYOD privacy, IT can use secure containers that keep personal data separate from work data or set up virtual desktops for BYOD access. Just make it clear to workers what they’re signing up for when they agree to a BYOD program.Continue Reading
You know about BYOD benefits, but there are some challenges also. First, consider how you’ll pay for services. Users might pay for devices, but who’s going to pay for the voice and data plans? Additionally, you’re going to have to draft acceptable use and security policies that include the consequences of violation. Then you need to train users and help desk staff on best practices and support, respectively. Finally, you’ll have to know how to handle the granddaddy of BYOD challenges: security. Continue Reading
Security risks associated with BYOD can seem overwhelming, but there are ways to keep data locked down. Policies and procedures are the first line of defense against data leaks, but you have to get employees on board. When employees do violate policies, make sure to control data and network access and use the right tools to manage devices, applications and information. Encrypting data will help keep corporate information safe, as well as encouraging employees to use the virtual private network.Continue Reading
There are more BYOD benefits and risks than you might think. For example, users can update hardware/software on their own devices more easily than on corporate equipment, so personal devices are usually more up to date. Users are more apt to maintain their own devices and understand how they work, which can reduce support costs. But the cons are that companies have to pay for mobile management tools, use resources to develop strategies and policies, and deal with licensing and compliance issues. Continue Reading