Enterprisers, small and large, are increasingly being forced to embrace the wave of technological advancements and tools in increasing their business efficiency. While the adoption of technology has a history of downplaying the role of workers, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, on the other hand, promises to empower employee attitudes and productivity.
As such many European and North American companies are accommodating their workforce programs for BYOD in the hopes of boosting their business output and growth. However, enterprises should be careful not to jump on the bandwagon without looking at both its benefits and risks.
- BYOD – What is it? - BYOD, in essence, enables employees to use their own personal devices to work in order to witness greater worker autonomy, productivity, and efficiency. It allows employees to access corporate files and folders without necessarily having to operate company devices.
The policy first was introduced around 2009 and later became a revolutionary business practice to help businesses, particularly employees, keep up with the changing demands of work, such as remote work. BYOD is also been growingly increasingly in importance due to other technological phenomenon, such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Benefits - There are substantial benefits associated with the use of BYOD. Firstly, employee satisfaction and fulfillment is increased as employees no longer are forced to use company equipment and devices to access files and folders. With the advent of superior smartphone and tablet technology, workers can seamlessly transition from personal use to office work.
Secondly, it is easier and quicker for employees to update files and programs on their smartphones or tablets than company IT equipment. Operating system and other software updates are released more frequently enabling up-to-date devices. This provides greater use of capabilities, upgrades, and other program features.
Most importantly, BYOD has provided a significant boost to remote working. Workers on the go can now easily access files and programs and provide updates on customer queries and complaints. This is especially important for sales and other organizations where deadlines are short and specific. As a result, workers witness greater productivity that helps increase business output.
- Risks - BYOD is not without its risks and drawbacks. Considering how most corporate files and folders are accessed through personal employee devices, risks of unauthorized third-party access, data corruption due to spread of malicious programs, and leak of sensitive information can be particularly high. Such security risks have the capacity to cripple an enterprise’s reputation and credibility, as well as incur heavy financial losses in recovering lost or corrupted data.
Other limitations pertain to conformity with compliance standards and requirements. Many businesses are required to adhere to stringent compliance mandates, such as HIPAA, GLBA, and PCI DSS. For an organization that has a large number of employees, making sure devices used by each conforms to the required compliance standards can be a challenge.
It is crucial for enterprises to have a BYOD policy to help workers achieve optimum productivity and efficiency. However, there should also be guidelines that lay out best practices for avoiding security threats and fulfilling compliance requirements.