Bring Your Own Device is referred to as BYOD and is also called Bring Your Own Technology or BYOT, Bring Your Own Phone or BYOP, and Bring Your Own PC or BYOPC. All of which refer to the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones into the workplace to access private company information and applications.
BYOD is becoming a major part of the business world and employees worldwide are using their own technology in the workplace. In the case of smartphones especially, businesses are becoming more and more unable to stop employees from bringing their personal property into the workplace. Some businesses attract employees by accepting BYOD. Some say it increases morale among employees as well as making the company look attractive because it indicates flexibility to potential employees.
There are four basic types of BYOD. They are:
1. Unlimited access for all personal devices.
2. Access only to non-sensitive system and company data
3. Access, but with IT control over all personal devices, apps and stored data.
4. Access, but with no local storage of data on personal devices.
While it does have some positive aspects, BYOD has resulted in data breaches in a few instances. For example, an employee who uses their personal smartphone to access their company's network may lose their phone. Then, untrusted parties could retrieve any unsecured data on the phone. Another example of a potential security breach is when an employee leaves the company. When they are using their own personal device, they do not have to give it back to the company and all the information is stored on their phone. This may pose a problem if the company applications and other data stays present on their device. Companies should evaluate whether or not they have the resources to safely manage BYOD. They should be willing to set up a private app store for maximum control as well as be prepared to handle a flood of support calls at the service desk.
Despite security breaches, there are benefits that can make BYOD appealing. Some of those benefits include:
1. Increased Productivity and Innovation. Employees feel more comfortable with their own personal device and are already experts at using it. This makes them more productive. They do not have to learn a new device. Also, personal devices are often more cutting edge as individuals tend to buy the latest smartphones and computers. Businesses can greatly benefit from these innovative features especially since users tend to upgrade to the latest hardware fairly frequently.
2. Increased Employee Satisfaction. Employees would rather use their own devices because they feel most comfortable with their own equipment. Instead of using something that the IT department has picked out for them, they feel much more comfortable using what is already their own. Allowing employees to use their own devices streamlines the amount of devices they carry. Instead of multiple devices, they can simply carry their own.
3. Cost Savings. Perhaps the biggest benefit is the amount the company saves in their budget by shifting costs to the user. Employees pay for their own mobile devices and data services which saves the company money.