BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a trend that has always been in the work force. Mechanics are hired with the expectation that they have their own tools. Construction trades have had a similar requirement. Now employers are looking at modern tech and making it a requirement for administrative, IT, and other professionals as well. Tablets, USB drives, portable HDDs, smartphones, and computers all qualify under such a program. Here are the BYOD pros and cons to consider when establishing this type of policy in a professional environment.
What Are the Pros of BYOD?
1. The tech costs a company faces are much lower.
Instead of investing into computers, software, servers, smartphones, and other devices that many modern workers need to get work done today, BYOD places that cost on the employee instead. Most employees already own most of the devices that are going to be required anyway, so paying each employee a stipend to use their tech for professional purposes boosts employee pay while costs still stay reduced compared to a non-BYOD policy.
2. It reduces employee resistance to new tech.
Employees that don’t know how to use certain types of technology are naturally resistant to change. With a BYOD policy, employees get to use technology of which they are quite familiar. This limits the resistance there may be to technology changes and can even increase user engagement because there is less hesitation to embrace the tech. Some companies have even found that this type of policy can reduce their training costs as well.
3. Nothing brings happiness like success.
Happy employees are employees that are going to stick around. Retaining good workers is becoming increasingly more difficult these days. By having devices that they already know and love at their side, workers tend to experience more success because they know what their device can do. This stays true even when workers are asked to pay for data or cellular costs.
4. It allows a business to take advantage of the perks that new technologies can bring.
Most people who own a smartphone will upgrade their device every 2 years – if not sooner. Laptop users will typically upgrade their device every 3-4 years. When compared to the technology refreshment cycles that can be seen at the average company, BYOD lets a company use faster devices that are more capable of getting the job done.
What Are the Cons of BYOD?
1. The technology a worker brings may not be fully secure.
If workers are using their own tech to complete professional tasks, then a business may have sensitive data on an unsecure device. How a worker spends their down time may include live sports streaming, watching movies that were illegally uploaded, or downloading pirated files. The sites which serve these activities are often filled with malware, spyware, and other security threats and that could put a company’s data at risk.
2. There is no real form of IT support.
Many of today’s workers, especially younger workers, are very tech savvy. If something happens to their device, then they know how to fix it. But what happens if they don’t know how to fix it and something happens to it at work? When BYOD is the policy that has been emphasized, the IT support available to that worker may be non-existent. Unless the problem can be fixed by turning the device off and then on again, productivity could be lost for an indeterminate period of time.
3. Personal tech may not be compatible with a company’s software or servers.
Workers have several different options when it comes to technology today. Some may own a PC, while others may own Apple products. Smartphones can run operating systems from Android, Apple, Windows, or third-party providers. A laptop might just as likely be running a Linux O/S as it is running Windows 10. If a company’s software, servers, or built-in tech isn’t compatible with what an employee has, then BYOD has failed before it starts.
4. The cost savings may only be minimal.
BYOD tends to work best when there is a large pool of employees who are required to be connected on a regular basis. If there are only a dozen or so workers for a small business, BYOD could have limited benefits depending on the level of tech that workers have.
The BYOD pros and cons listed here show that companies can potentially save a lot of money, but still have happy workers since they get to use their own tech. There will always be challenges whenever technology is used, but if these negative key points are carefully considered before implementing a policy such as this, the results can be very good indeed.