Implementing BYOD For Your Business
Are you thinking of letting your employees bring their own devices to work? Nearly 74% of U.S companies allow employees to use their own laptops, smart phones and tablets at the office. Benefits of the BYOD movement include lower hardware costs, technology familiarity and more productive employees.
The Benefits of BYOD
One of the main benefits of allowing employees to use their own device is cost. The average tablet costs $386 while the average laptop price is $513. Not having to shell out money for these expenses can mean significant savings, especially for a new startup with a limited budget. Another advantage is that your employees will be already familiar with their own devices and ready to work.
The ability to access company files anywhere also means that employees will have more flexibility about where and when they work. Flexibility can be a big selling point if you’re a new startup trying to recruit top talent. Employees with higher levels of autonomy are more likely to be content and productive.
Decide Who Will Pay For What
Some employees are willing to foot the bill for their own equipment, especially if it’s faster and more up-to-date than what is available the office. However, some companies are also footing part of the bill. Netflix provides its employees with a $800 stipend which can be applied towards a Windows computer or MAC. Employees who want a a more expensive model have the option of paying the difference with their own money.
Make sure that you have a written BYOD policy in place which states what the company is willing to pay for. If you don’t allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes, you will want to put that in writing as well.
Address Security Concerns
Set clear guidelines as to which employees can use their own electronics and what type of company data they are allowed to store on the device. For example, iphones tend to be more secure and less prone to viruses due to Apple’s closed ecosystem while Android devices are more vulnerable to security threats via the Android marketplace.
You may also want to prohibit employees from making any changes to the original OS and rooting or jailbreaking their phones as this will not only make it more vulnerable to security threats but also void the warranty.
Employees using their devices on unsecured Wi-Fi hot spots at coffee shops are also a concern since hackers may be able to intercept information across these networks. You may want to set policies in place in regards to hot spot usage and require employees to set a password on all their devices in case of theft or loss.
One solution is to use device management technology in order to separate the employee’s personal data from work related data. This technology will also enable you to “wipe” company data from the device as necessary.
Create A BYOD Policy
Work with your IT department and legal team in order to create a BYOD policy. You may want to consider using remote wipe technology in case a device is lost or stolen or an employee is terminated. Give your employees a list of do’s and dont’s when it comes to usage and keeping their devices secure.
Define the type of support your IT team will provide in case of a broken device. The ability for employees to bring their own devices can be a win for everyone involved as long as transparent policies are set in place.