BYOD will probably win the prize for this year’s most overused buzzword? But what is it? Does it matter for your business?
What is it?
BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, is all about letting employees bring their own computing devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones to work, connecting them to your network and accessing your business applications.
If you’re a sole trader then the computer you bring to work is your computer.
But if you have employees then you need to consider whether you’re happy to supply staff a computer and whatever other tools they need or let them bring their own computer to the workplace.
What are the pros?
- Staff get to use the hardware that they like to use, like their own phones and laptops
- You don’t have to spend a lot of capital on equipment
- Staff morale can be lifted as staff aren’t being forced to use equipment they don’t like
- You can effectively outsource the handling of any hardware problems to the owners of the devices
What are the cons?
- You need to establish minimum standards so that staff don’t try to cut corners with old computers that are so slow that they impact productivity
- Security can be a concern so you need good policies around security software, storing work data on the devices and ensuring that all equipment is protected with passwords in case of theft or loss
- Your systems may need to be capable of running on Windows, Macs and tablets – that could be tricky although most cloud services are platform agnostic
The Final Word
If you have solid systems that work on Windows, Macs and tablets then BYOD can be a good approach to delivering your staff an IT environment that helps them be happier and more productive.
But it does require that you establish solid ground rules so that the potential risks are mitigated.