In today’s global economy, enterprise mobility plays an important role in driving business agility and success. Mobile devices, especially the use of employees’ personal devices, empower the workforce to be more productive, accessible, and accountable. To make the most of these advantages, businesses must be ready to protect company data that is shared on personal devices. Developing a written security plan to support the company’s bring your own device policy (byod policy), can minimize the risks. Before your organization embraces a byod policy, be sure to understand the pros and cons of allowing employees to use personal devices for work.

Mobile devices and productivity

Approximately 80% of survey respondents say mobile phones are crucial to an employee’s ability to do their job effectively. Several studies have shown that workers can be even more productive when using their own device. In fact, 53% of workers polled said that a primary benefit of using their own device is improved business processes and productivity.

On the other hand, some businesses worry that personal devices make workers more susceptible to the temptation of checking personal accounts and social media. Connecting to public wi-fi networks when using the device for personal activities can also leave company data exposed to hackers. Here are some important byod pros and cons to consider before implementing a bring your own device policy.

Weigh these BYOD pros and cons

Pro #1: Cost savingsWhen a byod policy is implemented, it’s estimated that an organization can save about $350 per employee, per year. BYOD reduces the company’s financial burden because the cost of hardware, maintenance, repairs, and support is shifted to the employee.

Pro #2: Stay current with technologyOn average, European smartphone users upgrade every 21 months and US users about every 23 months. With a bring your own device policy in place, your workers have access to the latest technology and features—plus the device is configured to the employee’s preferences. Few businesses would be able to keep up with this upgrade timeline due to budget constraints.

Pro #3: Retain happy, engaged employeesEmployees feel empowered when using their self-chosen device; they do not require training and can control device settings. With more flexibility over where and how they work, employees are happier and more productive.

Con #1: Increased complexityThe number and variety of devices, operating systems, and apps can create a disorganized IT environment, fraught with compatibility issues. organizations should consider adopting mobile device management systems in order to maintain control over devices.

Con #2: Puts data security and privacy at riskCompany data is much more difficult to manage and monitor in a byod environment. organizations must find a way to ensure employees follow security best practices including strong passwords and guidelines covering file access and use through a personal device.

Con #3: ScalabilitySome organizations are not adequately prepared to support employees when adopting a bring your own device policy. Can your network support increased traffic? How will you ensure everyone keeps up to date with the latest software upgrades and security patches?

How to develop a solid byod policy

The most successful organizations follow a written, formal policy that governs byod and utilize mobile device management software to better manage the IT environment and protect company data. For example, your organization’s byod policy should include the following best practices:

  • Keep software up to date

  • Report lost or stolen devices immediately

  • Use a secure password or PIN

  • Don’t connect to public wi-fi networks

  • Backup the device regularly

Support for your modern, mobile workforce

An effective byod policy that gives employees flexibility to work when, where, and how they want—while maintaining security standards to protect company data—is key to a happy, engaged workforce. Take steps now to support your modern, mobile workforce with Asure Software and find out how you can maximize a byod program at your organization.

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