What Is the Business Impact of a BYOD Policy?

BYOD, or “bring your own device,” is sweeping the business world and perpetuating the consumerization of IT. This policy allows certain devices to be used for business purposes. This means that employees are able to bring their privately owned smartphones, laptops and tablets to work.

The driving force behind this new trend is the increased popularity of these devices. Employees also claim that using their own devices will make them more productive and reduce the company’s cost of equipment. Are these claims true? What is the real business impact of a BYOD policy?

The Negative Impact of a BYOD Policy

There is one main, and somewhat debatable, instance of negative impact when it comes to a BYOD policy. According to CIO, a technology publication, some adopters have stated that it takes a level of control away from IT. While this can be true when improperly implemented, these concerns are allayed with the use of security and management software.

A properly enacted BYOD policy will contain a mobile device management (MDM) software solution. An MDM solution allows IT to have unprecedented control over devices that are connected to the network. IT is able to use this software to monitor every transmitted byte.

The software also performs a security scan whenever a device is connected to the network to confirm it does not contain malware. Additionally, MDM software allows IT to remotely de-provision devices if they are lost or stolen — guaranteeing that the network is only accessed by authorized individuals.

The Positive Impact of a BYOD Policy

There are several benefits of a BYOD policy that make enacting an MDM program worth the time and effort. Below are some common benefits of a BYOD policy, as reported by business owners to CIO.
  • Increased Productivity: A survey found that employees who work for a company with a BYOD policy work an additional 240 hours per year. This number is significant because employees are able to perform their responsibilities after business hours. Employees also become more productive at the office as well, because they are using devices they are more familiar with.

  • Decreased Costs: As a result of a BYOD policy, the cost of mobile equipment shifts from the company to the employee. CIO estimated that companies that have enacted BYOD programs save an average of $80 per month, per employee.

  • Increased Worker Satisfaction: Perhaps the most significant aspect of a BYOD policy is that employees are simply happier. They appreciate the opportunity to use their own devices at work, and they don’t end up with outdated or slow corporate-owned equipment as well. Along with this benefit, a BYOD policy is also an attractive recruitment tool. It makes the company appear more modern to prospective employees.

Enact Your BYOD Policy Today

The first and most important step of implementing this policy is to meet with representatives from each department. During this meeting, consider which devices should be allowed. Discuss who will be paying for the data usage and if there will be any reimbursement for the cost of equipment. Also, discuss how each device should be used. The purpose of the meeting is to create a policy that will be signed by employees who wish to participate in the BYOD program. This policy will clarify the rights and responsibilities of the company as well as the employee.

With such positive implications, it’s easy to understand why BYOD policies are becoming more common. If your company has not yet enacted a BYOD policy, consider doing so immediately.

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