More and more employees—especially the young and technologically savvy—are no longer satisfied with company-issued tools to get the job done. Known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), businesses are finding that employees want to swap company equipment in favor of personally owned devices, such as laptops, tablets or smartphones that they are more comfortable using.
BYOD can be a money-saver for companies, reducing the amount spent on hardware and software purchases, maintenance and the cost of training employees to use the equipment. Especially for rapidly expanding companies, allowing personally owned devices could save thousands of dollars in upfront IT hardware costs for new employees. With BYOD, employees buy and maintain their own equipment. Companies can choose to compensate them by subsidizing or reimbursing their purchases, or offering flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely.
In addition to saving money, BYOD can be effective for recruiting and retaining staff. With the freedom to choose the technology they are more comfortable working with, employees are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
While BYOD saves some companies money, others could end up spending a lot more. Businesses that require the standardization of their applications, hardware and operating systems—meaning that some equipment must be integrated with others—could actually increase IT management costs if personally owned devices were added to the mix.
Adopting BYOD can expose companies to two major risks: IT security risks and data loss. This alone may be enough to compel a company to ban BYOD altogether. If you are considering adopting a BYOD policy, you should ask yourself whether the benefits are worth the risks. If your answer is yes, then employ risk management to mitigate those risks.
© 2015 Zywave, Inc.