To BYOD or not to BYOD: That is The Question

The long-running BYOD debate continues as more employees use their personal devices for work. Videophone estimates that 54% of people now user their iPad for work purposes. IT departments are not fond of being forced to create BYOD policies and security strategies, but BYOD tends to solve workplace pain points and increase production. Let’s consider the pros and cons.

To BYOD

The two main benefits of a BYOD work environment are increased employee satisfaction and cost savings for corporations. Employees are happier when they can choose their own device and carrier, and BYOD reduces the need for organizations to purchase devices employees don’t want.

People want to work on the devices they feel most comfortable with, so it makes sense that organizations often see an increase in productivity when they allow employees to use their device of choice. It has been shown that employees are indeed more productive when they use their own device. It’s also important to note that Gartner’s global survey of CIOs found that 38 percent of organizations expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.

Another point is that they’re already doing it. A 2013 Microsoft study indicated 67% of workers use their personal device at work, for work purposes, regardless of the company’s BYOD policy. That figure has surely increased since the study was completed.

Not to BYOD

The security risks associated with BYOD mean companies must implement security policies, agreements, and comprehensive training to limit their liability. Mobile device management policies are also more complicated when employees use personal devices rather than company-provided ones. Company contracts must spell out every detail to ensure there’s no confusion about what it is and is not managing.

Determining how to pay for employees’ data usage is also a challenge. Accounting for exact data usage and determining whether the usage was for business or for personal can be a complex process.

Finding Common Ground

 Fortunately, there are ways to resolve BYOD issues that result in a win/win for all. For example, many companies pay a fixed percentage of employees’ mobile bills. Others pay for only the data and service used for work. And technologies that support personal device use in the enterprise are evolving quickly. The question of whether or not to BYOD has a simple answer. Even though the issues associated with BYOD are considerable for IT and accounting departments, with proper management, the pros of BYOD outweigh the cons.