BYOD Offers Many Advantages and Disadvantages
In a digital area where companies must juggle a circus of IT costs and considerations, any financial relief feels welcome. It’s why businesses sometimes adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies. This policy is just like it sounds: allowing staff to bring their personal devices for work such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It’s a cost-cutting option, but is it right for you? There are some pros and cons to consider.
One of the more attractive reasons businesses use a BYOD policy is the cost-cutting. Typically new staff means more devices, but staff using their own hardware means a company doesn’t need to invest for additional tech.
It takes time to get new staff up to speed on devices, but, if they’re using their own, they won’t need training. No hours invested and no more associated costs. Plus, staff familiar with their hardware work more efficiently, since they’re familiar with their device.
In contrast, teaching new hires how to use business hardware can take time – along with all the software included. As they say, time is money, so the less spent there, the better.
Updating the entirety of your business infrastructure is time-consuming and – you guessed it – costly. Each company device needs to run with the same version for security reasons, but the more time is spent with an update, the more your bottom line is affected. However, with a BYOD policy, every individual updates on their own, making for a faster process.
This is all sounding too good to be true, and that’s because it is. Alas, as with many things, there are some downsides which you should consider before jumping into a BYOD policy, and we’ll touch on a few here.
One of the biggest problems with a BYOD policy is security, or rather, the risks it creates. Each device brought in by staff presents a potential vector for intrusion. Why is this a problem? Consider what kind of data your business stores and sends through devices – work files, login information, personal data, etc. If any single device is compromised, it means the mentioned information is at risk, creating a larger hurdle for your cybersecurity strategies.
IT support teams will face the challenge of resolving technical issues with unique devices if a BYOD policy is used. Traditionally, when all staff shares the same hardware, IT can focus on fixing common issues they’re familiar with since devices are similar. But if Sam from accounting can’t access the company login from his Android tablet, they have to spend time resolving the issue for that specific device.
Remember, if you allow company data to be stored on a user’s device, that includes sensitive company information. But even if an individual leaves the business either from termination or otherwise, they might still have access to said info or business data remains on their device. That means, even though they’re not with the company, they’re still creating a potential vector for attack.
As you can see, utilizing a BYOD policy can definitely save your enterprise on costs and time, but requires a lengthy cybersecurity plan for safety reasons. Utilizing a BYOD strategy should be done at the discretion of the organization, carefully.
If you’d like to learn more about BYOD strategies, you can contact us at Bytagig.