The Pros and Cons of a Bring Your Own Device Policy

pros and cons bring your own device policy work computer

Go around to most corporate offices around the U.S. and you'll see people hovering over Windows machines regardless of what types of system they use at home. While many consumers prefer Mac over windows, most companies don't have the money to support that many Macs. That's where the modern bring your own device policy comes in to save the day and allow workers to use a system that works for them.

Here are five things you need to know before you choose to implement a BYOD policy at your office.

1. Save Money

If you want to ensure that you can save money on setting up and staffing your workplace, there are few options when you need to have the essentials. However, when your staff can provide many of the essentials on their own, it helps take some of the burdens off of your shoulders. A BYOD policy helps to curb costs.

When your staff brings in their own devices, you don't have to worry about the cost of maintaining and keeping their devices in working order. However, if you want to encourage this, you can help by offering some resources and assistance.

Some employees might want you to help subsidize their devices or at least a portion of the costs. If you can even offer them a group purchasing discount on devices that they'll then own, you can get them to take care of most of the cost. If you additionally offer some help with paying for the cost of repairing or maintenance, you can encourage BYOD.

2. Compatibility Issues

One of the major problems with BYOD that's going to haunt every company is the need for compatibility. When you don't provide everyone with the same machine, equipped with the same software, using the same operating system, conflict will happen.

However, if you're in the tech world, you know this is much more like what the real world looks like. If you're using a tool or designing software that's meant for public consumption, it has to work for absolutely everyone for it to have real value. Otherwise, you're going to limit the number of people who can use your system.

Compatibility issues aren't the end of the world. By finding tools and systems that work for the majority of your staff, you can eliminate worry about conflict or failing compatibility. While some of your staff members might gripe at having to use a tool or system that's unfamiliar, you need to make decisions for the greater good of your team.

3. Security Problems

One of the issues with BYOD policies is that most workplaces need to implement an MDM policy in kind. A mobile device management policy requires employers to implement some severe restrictions on how their employees can use their mobile devices. When you're trying to ensure that your workplace data is secure, you need some control over the devices on your network.

This could be irritating to some of your staff and cause them to choose to use the standard device that the rest of the staff is using. If they won't comply with your security needs, you may have to supply tools for them to use. 

Managing security solutions is vital in the modern era. Your data and any customer data that you store on your system is one of your most valuable resources. It's as valuable as gold or oil in the modern era.

If you struggle to manage security at your office, a BYOD policy might not work for you. However, if you have the resources and access to a cybersecurity expert, you could maintain this policy.

4. Cables and Cords and Everything Else

One of the issues that many business owners forget about when it comes to working with a multitude of systems is the physical incompatibility. Your staff might be bright, clever, and talented, but they might forget their chargers and cables from time to time. That means you'll have to front the costs for many of these items.

In most cases, they won't cost you very much. However, when you're dealing with proprietary items—ahem, Mac—you'll have to shell out a lot more for lots of little dongles. Expect those little dongles to get "misplaced", broken, or taken home "by accident".

The hidden costs of a BYOD policy are many and preparing for mistakes that your staff is going to make can cost you a fair amount of money. While these items might be small at any given point, they'll add up to big bucks over time.

5. Expect Data Complaints

When you have staff using their own devices, they're going to need to maintain connectivity at all times. While you might have a strong and powerful wireless network, it's never going to be 100% perfect. That means that your staff could be using their own data plans at times.

If you have them working from home, working remotely, or working from some kind of event or trade show, they'll be on their own. They'll be burning through their own data, which can add up quickly when sending lots of information around.

While a few emails shouldn't be a cause for complaint, if you have to use a hefty CMS at your office, it's going to eat up your staff's data in a hurry.

For more tips on implementing a policy, see what other brands are using for BYOD and MDM policies.

A Bring Your Own Device Policy Is a Blessing and a Curse

There is such a variety of pros and cons to a bring your own device policy that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Every business needs to decide what's going to work best for them before implementing any solution. When it comes to a bring your own device policy, the only good solution is one that makes your staff happy and productive.

If you want to make sure your BYOD workers stay productive when working from home, check out our guide for tips.

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