Is your business data on personally owned devices?

Is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy Right for Your Business?

 

We are in the business of making sure you are prepared for what the changing technology environment will throw your way. One of the biggest current trends in business IT is Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. This practice can happen with a clear, deliberate strategy and set policies, or it happens incidentally, with employees checking their work email on their personal computers, or accessing your cloud storage platforms from their phones or iPads. As a decision-maker, you need to determine how your business will handle this trend. Will you allow BYOD as long as employees follow a set policy, or will you insist on your team members using employer-provided devices? There are pros and cons to both. We at Net Works are here to help you navigate this and any other business IT concerns you might have.

 

First, it’s important to understand the benefits of BYOD practices for your team. BYOD empowers more flexibility for employees, allowing them to work when they feel inspired, access files when an emergency comes up, and work with the devices they feel most confident and comfortable using, rather than adjusting to, for example, Windows products at work while using Apple devices at home. Relying on the same device for work and personal use can also help alleviate small inconveniences, like going home for the weekend and realizing you forgot to send yourself an important file that is stored on the workplace desktop (this can also be solved through cloud storage solutions). Your employees may also enjoy small perks like having workplace software on their personal devices while being part of your team. For example, maybe an employee wants to get better at Adobe InDesign and practices on the weekend using the company account on their computer. As an employer, you benefit from employee morale boost. If bringing their own devices makes your team more productive, efficient, and happy, it may be worth considering.

 

Another benefit of BYOD is potential cost reduction. Instead of buying new hardware when you onboard employees, through implementing BYOD you may only need to cover supplemental software costs that get them up and running, and avoid lost productivity as the employee will not have to adjust to a new, unfamiliar device.

 

As you can see, there are many benefits to BYOD, but it is not without risk. Users tend to be more lax in security protocols for their own devices, and your business can end up paying the price for innocent mistakes made by your employees. Without proper cybersecurity practices in place, BYOD can leave your business network infected by viruses or infiltrated by hackers. When a team member leaves the company, they bring their device with them, and may forget to delete or turn over sensitive business information like passwords. Because of these risks, if you are going to allow BYOD, you need a set policy with guidelines for your team to follow. There is a good chance that your team is already using their own devices without realizing they could be putting your company at risk. It is time to take action.

 

Armed with this information, how do you move forward? Your first step is to call Net Works. We will help you explore the pros and cons of BYOD and identify whether it makes sense for your unique business. If it does, we will help you find the right tools and software to stay safe, and work with you to build a policy for your team to follow. Contact Net Works today to get started!

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