Pros and Cons of BYOD Policies

By Sydney Wess / 19 October 2021

BYOD stands for “bring your own device” and functions exactly as it sounds. These policies permit workers to use their phones, computers, and other devices for work purposes. There are several pros and cons of BYOD policies that should shape company opinions on implementing one of their own.  

BYOD (bring your own device) policies are popular, especially as remote becomes a mainstay in work culture. However, there are several pros and cons of BYOD policies, many hinge on the absence of company-owned and regulated devices in the system. 

BYOD allows workers to use their own devices to access work information and execute their day-to-day responsibilities. This includes access to company data and information stored in a cloud, software, or management system. 

Anything a worker would do on a company-owned device, they instead do on their personal devices under these policies. Thinking this policy may fit your company well? Consider the following pros and cons of BYOD policies before making your final decision.

Pros and Cons of BYOD Policies

  • Pro: Employee convenience 
  • Pro: Cost savings
  • Con: Security risks and IT Challenges
  • Con: Accessibility

Look carefully at each of these factors before determining whether a BYOD policy is right for your business and team. 

Pro: Employee Convenience 

Many BYOD policies are well-received by employees and viewed as convenient. 

With their own devices in hand at the start of each day, they don’t need to worry about different phones, laptops, and other tech provided just for work. 

Additionally, employees are probably most comfortable using their own devices. They know the interface well from personal use and wouldn’t have to acclimate to something unfamiliar for the sake of work. With their own devices, you can ensure that employees feel comfortable using tech for work.

Similarly, employees are likely to update their technology and devices as needed. This means that they will be using more updated technology than what your company may be able to offer an entire team. Employees using upgraded tech come with their own slew of benefits and capabilities on individual and company levels. 

Because of the comfort, confidence, and access employees have to make their own decisions on what technologies they use at work, your team may also benefit from subsequent morale and work satisfaction boosts that keep employees engaged.

Employee convenience and appreciation is a huge perk of BYOD policies that your team shouldn’t overlook in the decision-making process.  

Pro: Cost Savings

BYOD policies don’t only benefit employees; they offer perks such as cost savings to companies. 

Think about it: providing each new employee with a work phone, computer, and other devices will add up. Companies will spend thousands of dollars getting everyone the tech they need to do all their work on a company device. Not to mention the costs associated with replacing outdated, stolen, or corrupted equipment

Especially for high-growth companies that intend to scale quickly, the onboarding process can be daunting from a cost perspective. Implementing a BYOD policy reduces any upfront costs relating to tech while bringing new employees onto the team. 

Cost savings at the onboarding stage could be a game-changer for some companies. Consider whether this would make a significant impact on your company before starting a BYOD policy. 

Con: Security Risk & IT Challenges 

Permitting employees to use whatever devices they want at work creates complications from an IT perspective that may open teammates up to cybersecurity risk. 

The wide variety of device types and operating systems are going to make IT support more challenging. Your team will need to be proficient across many more devices and systems to support a BYOD-based company.

Similarly, the number of different types of devices may pose security risks. Security protocols will need to be more complicated by design to accommodate different technologies

Additionally, because workers are using personal devices, companies need to consider the risk of potential data breaches or attacks that happen due to personal device use. For instance, many people know to avoid public WiFi networks on work computers. However, on personal devices, employees may not be as discerning. 

Security isn’t always top of mind when on devices for personal use; convenience often takes the cake. So, if a public WiFi network is the most convenient option, employees may make the mistake of connecting without considering the risk to company data.   

As they’re taken more places and used by more people, personal computers are more likely to become lost or stolen. That puts company data at a huge risk as well.

BYOD risks

Source: MXO Tech

While most companies allow some form of BYOD for their employees, 40% of data breaches result from lost devices. That may give some companies pause on whether to implement their own policy.

Simply put, companies will have little control over their employees’ unsecured cyber practices under a BYOD policy, even if that means sensitive data is vulnerable

Con: Accessibility to Tech

Creating a gap in tech quality and accessibility within your company makes security challenging, complicating team dynamics. 

Work-issued tech provides teams with a uniformity that BYOD policies cannot offer. Some employees may prioritize tech in their personal lives, willing to splurge on the latest and greatest products. Others may not budget with advanced tech at the forefront, opting for minimum updates and whatever they require to get their jobs done. 

Differences in tech access within your team may create technical disparities. Some high-grade products may have capabilities that other devices don’t. Devices may not all even be compatible with each other across the team.  

Depending on what devices you require for work, some employees may not have the needed tech. This means they need to purchase a device, putting an additional burden on them to comply with office policies. 

Technology use and access range are incredibly wide across different age groups and demographics, so make sure you consider your team’s access to tech in their own lives before enacting a BYOD policy.  

Determine Whether a BYOD Policy Is Right for You

BYOD policies offer plenty of perks that will make both employees and business leaders happy. However, there are serious cybersecurity risks and accessibility issues to consider before adopting a BYOD program of your own. Companies should think critically about what direction to go in when it comes to BYOD policies.

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