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Bring Your Own Device Policies: Pros and Cons

Posted by Justin Trantham | Jan 26, 2021 1:00:00 PM

For years, most companies have considered jobs as something you come into the office and get work done there. If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us, it’s that many jobs can be done from home, coffee shops, or at the cabin. Most of us would agree that this work from anywhere trend will only get more and more popular as time goes on.

As a business owner, you have many options when purchasing different software, hardware, equipment, and many other IT related needs. One thing you may be considering is if it’s worth it to allow your employees to use their own devices for work.

Below is a list of potential Pros and Cons of bring your own device policies with brief explanations.

 

BYOD Pros

  1. Hardware falls on the employee to pay for.
    • This reduces the company’s overall costs from the purchase of the hardware all the way to repairing it when it breaks.
  2. Employees can use whatever device they are most familiar with.
    • The most typical devices are Apple or Windows and if needed Linux.
  3. Setup, Installation, and replacement is all handled by the employee.
    • Reduces time to onboard new employees.

BYOD Cons

  1. You’re unable to lock the users out of their device if you terminate them.
    • You will need to make sure that all data is either on a file server or can be removed from their device. Some firms that use data like CAD drawings where it requires it to be on the PC itself would require manual deletion.
  2. No management software gets installed by default, ie. Group Policy.
    • This would require you to either have one of two options.
      1. Require as a part of the setup to install a remote agent like Connectwise Automate or Kaseya.
      2. Using a Mobile Device Management (MDM) like Intune or Meraki that automatically enrolls devices to apply policies when users log in to Office 365 to access email. Which could increase operational costs if not already using these.
  3. Slow devices can have an adverse effect on productivity
    • Having no control over what employees purchase means they could buy or already have an older computer that may not work properly with your software or cause their PC to run very slow.

In this list, I’ve tried to convey possible situations your business may be facing today. I personally believe going forward into the future a few years, personal devices like phones will be the primary devices instead of traditional computers for most businesses. Many small businesses already operate mainly through email, OneDrive, SharePoint, and Microsoft Teams or the Google Suite.

This article was written with an open mind and hopefully, this list helps make your decision easier for you and maybe you have different Pros/Cons you can add. My grandma always said when I was making a tough decision to write it down on a piece of paper and whatever list was longer you went with. If the Con list is larger then maybe your business isn’t quite ready for the transition but companies like Coordinated Business System can help explore the options.

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Topics: Security, Managed IT

Written by Justin Trantham

Justin Trantham is a Network Engineer with experience from consumer electronics to hosting solutions and everywhere in-between. He has helped clients deal with ransomware outbreaks, system upgrades, and the ever longing journey to the cloud. His passion is learning from his peers and teaching all who want to learn.