You’ve heard of BYOB plenty of times. But in the past recent years, companies are now throwing around a new term called BYOD. So what exactly do companies want us to bring to work? BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device.” It is a new IT policy being adopted by more and more businesses over the past few years that allows employees to use their own personal mobile devices (whether it be smartphones, tablets, or laptops) to access privileged company information and applications. In this day and age of technology such a big part of our lives, the BYOD policy seems like a great policy that fits well into our lifestyles. But there are also a few drawbacks to the policy as well.
Why Use a BYOD Policy?
Intel was the first company to use the BYOD policy back in 2009, but only in 2011 did the policy achieve prominence so it is still a relatively new practice in the workplace. Clearly it is gaining popularity because companies see the value in having employees use their own personal devices at work. 66% of companies now allow (or even mandate) employees to use their personal devices at work and by the year 2016, 38% of companies plan to stop providing devices for their employees.
So what is making BYOD such a popular policy? Here are the main benefits:
1. Increased Productivity and Innovation - Since employees are more comfortable with their personal devices and become an expert using it rather than having to use a work regulated device, they are more productive. Also, personal devices are more advanced and employees often update them to the latest hardware more often than using work devices.
2. Employee Satisfaction - Employees get to use devices they have chosen and invested in rather than IT selected devices and it also helps them avoid carrying multiple devices.
3. Cost Savings - BYOD programs often reduces costs for companies (but not always). So it may not be smart for some companies to use the policy but in most cases it is helpful.
To every upside there are also a few downsides. While the BYOD program may seem all fine and dandy, there are definitely some issues that arise from using it. Below is a list of some main concerns for companies using the BYOD policy:
1. Governance and Compliance - Allowing employees to use their personal devices could cause companies to violate rules, regulations, trust, intellectual property, and other business obligations.
2. Mobile Device Management - Employees use many devices and expect them to be able to use their devices and work applications anywhere, anytime. So companies need to manage growing workforce expectation around mobility.
3. Security - This is the biggest concert for companies. BYOD could lead to loss of control, impact the company’s network availability, and cause data loss.
So there’s no question that the BYOD policy is becoming a big part of IT policies across the world. At this point it is pretty difficult not to let employees use their own devices because they are such important and powerful tools all at the touch of their fingers. We’ll see how popular the BYOD policy becomes, but now it seems like it will become inevitable for most companies to adopt.