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Published on June 13th, 2016 | by James D. Burbank

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Bring Your Own Device – a Smart Biztech Practice?

BYOD stands for bring your own device and it is a practice that the vast majority of companies around the world have adopted, either by design or simply because their employees simply cannot help themselves. In case you worked for someone, you have probably engaged in a bit of BYOD without even knowing it. If you run a business, you are probably wondering whether it is something you should employ in your business operation.

BYOD 101

As its name suggests, BYOD entails employees and other members of a commercial organization bringing in their devices, such as smartphones, tablets, notepads and even their PCs to their place of work and actually doing some work on those devices. Just because you brought your phone to work does not mean that it is BYOD. However, if you open an company email on the phone you brought in, you got BYOD.

The Good Sides of BYOD

There are a few reasons as to why companies allow the BYOD practice within their operations and the main one is that it makes employees more satisfied with their job. Everyone prefers working on a device they know and use in their private life. Job satisfaction rates are increased once the company adopts a BYOD model and in today’s job climate, this is a big thing.

Because they are more satisfied, the employees of a certain company are also more productive and their numbers are better than when they are restricted to devices that their company provides for them. Of course, employees are also more productive because they know the capabilities of a certain device and they do not need time to get used to it.

In many cases, especially in large corporations where the company is slow to adopt new technologies and where people often work on computers from a decade ago, BYOD can do a lot for modernization of the equipment. In such situations, employees will upgrade their equipment without expecting anything from the organization they work for.

Some people also point out that BYOD can save an organization money, but as you will find out, this is not really the case.

The Bad Sides of BYOD

The main reason why many companies are still somewhat apprehensive towards BYOD is that it is an unsafe practice which can lead to a number of problems if the company is not being extremely careful.

For one, in an employee’s device is less than perfectly secured, it can be subjected to data breaches which can hurt a company greatly. Considering how many of us take cybersecurity not exactly super seriously, this can often be a problem. The mere fact that an employee has sensitive company data on their own personal device can lead to a whole other kind of trouble if such an employee is let go or simply decides to sell this data.

The security issues that come with BYOD are numerous and serious and if a company decides to do BYOD, they need to be careful what information can be obtained from outside devices and what parts of the operation these devices have access to.

There is also the problem of compatibility. A company can rely on all kinds of software and not all of it will be compatible with the device the employee brings. For instance, a company may use a piece of HR software that runs on one operating system, while an employee’s OS does not support it. The problem can is very obvious.

Some employees might also choose to use unlicensed software and unless the company has a great BYOD agreement penned out (and signed by the employee), this could cause a lot of trouble for them.

Closing Word

BYOD is a practice that can do a lot of good for a company, but it can also be a whole can of worms if it is handled carelessly. It is, however, very difficult to imagine a future where all of the companies do not at least dabble in BYOD.

 


About the Author

James D. Burbank has spent years travelling the world while in the trade show industry. Back in the days when phone apps included a calculator and a calendar. If you have the time, check out his blog, BizzMarkBlog.


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