IT

Should You Consider a BYOD Policy For Your Business?

Gone are the days where companies placed bulk orders with cell phone companies for their employees’ phones. In today’s world, BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is a growing trend. BYOD is fairly commonplace now, and by 2017, it’s expected to be the norm. If you’re not completely sold of a BYOD policy, these few reasons might have you changing your mind.

It Saves Money

Money

Most importantly, it completely eliminates the need for corporate phones, which saves you a ton of cash. You don’t have to worry about paying a ton of money for phones, getting the phones insured, and paying to activate each phone. With BYOD, all of the responsibility is placed on the employee. The employee will be responsible for their phone, activating it, and everything else that comes with the responsibility of owning a phone. When you byod with Blackberry, you can sync all of the phones up and keep everything up to date, rather than updating each phone individually.

With smartphones, no matter what you do, you’ll end up using data. With old policies, you’d have to pay for a data plan for each phone, and then potentially pay overages if the employee went over their data limit. With a BYOD policy, you don’t have to worry about any of that. The employee will be responsible for their data plan, and usage will be entirely their responsibility. You should, however, provide free Wi-Fi in the office to employees. By offering free Wi-Fi, you’re allowing them to use their devices while at the office, but it won’t eat up any of their data. This is almost essential in fast-paced workplaces, as multiple screens will only benefit employees.

If you decide to add free Wi-Fi, make sure to secure your network. Also, be sure to update the password frequently. By doing so, you’ll weed out people that aren’t really using the network. You’ll also want to set up MAC filtering on the network. Each device has a unique set of numbers and letters, similar to a thumbprint, which is found in the settings. This is called a MAC address. With MAC filtering, even if someone has the password, they won’t be able to access the network unless the server administrator has set access for their unique device.

Increased Productivity

New work office (a work in progress)

Another great point about BYOD policies is that they allow employees to use their own phone, which they’re likely familiar with. In BlackBerry’s case, the new operating system allows you to separate apps into separate profiles, so you won’t get your personal and professional applications mixed up. It’ll also save a ton of time for your IT department, as they won’t have to create guides and seminars on getting comfortable with your new device.

Another way that it could increase productivity is through a second screen. Employees could monitor Skype chats or e-mails through their mobile device while staying on task on the main screen. Rather than answer Skype calls through their computer, they could answer them through their phone, freeing up space on their main computer for work-related activities.

Security

If you’re worried about files leaking out and your company’s details being made public, don’t be! With cloud apps, files are stored remotely. Any authorized person can access them at any time. With cloud storage, you won’t have to worry about whether or not a file is stored on the thumbdrive that you brought. If you use cloud apps through Google, you can wipe the device remotely in the event that someone is fired or the device is lost or stolen, and it can allow you see what apps are installed on any device, so you can make sure the employee isn’t wasting his day on Facebook.

If you want, you could place restrictions on the phone. With Android devices, this is particularly important, as you can install third party applications. These third party applications could contain malware that steal data, record key presses, and more. By placing restrictions, you’ll likely upset employees, but it’s better to be proactive regarding security than reactive.

You should research how to encrypt data on the phones. With encrypted data, even if the device is lost or stolen, or someone intercepts the data, they’ll be unable to access it.

Satisfied Employees

It’s not rocket science — the less restricted an employee is while they’re at work, the happier they are. With a BYOD policy, they’re able to use their own phone, which they’re already comfortable with. Remember, a happy employee is a productive employee.

Less Broken Devices

When you implement a BYOD policy, employees will bring phones that they paid their hard-earned money for. Those phones may be completely paid off, or they may be in the process of being paid off. Regardless, this is a device that the employee has chosen for one reason or another. All of the employee’s personal and professional information is likely on that device. Because of that, employees are going to guard that phone to the best of their ability. If the phone is destroyed, replacing the phone is up to the employee, not you.

If you do implement a BYOD policy, you should consider creating guidelines. By drafting a policy, implementing training, and getting the employee to sign off on it, you’ll remove yourself from all liability in the event that something could happen. In the policy, state all of the rules, processes, expectations, etc., and go over it with the employee before they start. If the employee is to resign or be terminated, they should be aware of what exactly they’ll have to expect when it comes to your company’s data on their device. You can’t wipe the entire device, but you could set in the terms that they have to have a specific section of the phone to place company data, and that could be removed.

BYOD policies are something that we’re moving towards. If you haven’t already implemented a BYOD policy, read over these tips and consider whether or not it’s a right fit for your office. Have you been considering moving to a bring your own device culture in your own company? What’s holding you back?

A post by Miles Young (8 Posts)

Miles Young is author at LeraBlog. The author's views are entirely his/her own and may not reflect the views and opinions of LeraBlog staff.

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