BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a policy sweeping the IT and telecom expense management industry. BYOD allows employees to leave company laptops, tablets, and smartphones behind and use their personal devices to get work done. If harnessed effectively, BYOD is a policy that can cut operating costs, especially for smaller businesses in tech industries.
IT & Telecom management costs are taken up considerably by the need to issue, maintain, and renew company devices for its employees. The management of such an undertaking can be cumbersome and costly. While IT and telecom management requirements still exist under a BYOD policy, the burden would be significantly reduced by allowing employees to take advantage of their own devices to get work done, especially for smaller firms.
BYOD reduces operating costs through increased mobility as well. In conjunction with a liberal flex work policy, BYOD enables employees to work when they need to where they need to on the devices they use all the time. Employees who can work at peak times, regardless of the device, are more productive. Increased productivity results in less organizational waste and greater efficiency.
Employee turnover is a problem that a majority of companies in tech industries have to encounter. Each time an employee is lost and a new one is gained, money is spent onboarding and training new talent. In the right hands, a BYOD policy strengthens employee satisfaction. Producers can use their own devices without having to be concerned about maintaining and operating company owned devices that may be antiquated compared to their own. Satisfied employees are those who stay. Employees who remain, lead to increased productivity and lower turnover costs.
There is a different kind of risk involved with BYOD, so a comprehensive policy must be put into use when BYOD is initiated. IT must implement a security solution that will protect both end users and corporate infrastructure. Cloud based project management can do a lot in the way of protecting both parties involved. Accessing work via the cloud creates a buffer between user and company for data storage and access.
Allowing employees to use personal devices will need to come with some requirements on their end to keep information safe. Here are a few stipulations that should be a part of any BYOD policy:
The company provided anti-virus and anti-malware software will be run on all devices
Laptop hard drives should be encrypted with technology that prevents data from being taken. This is especially important in the inevitability that at least one employee’s laptop is lost or stolen, particularly with larger companies.
Have employees use an approved VPN client when they’re using their personal devices to conduct company business. A VPN client will provide a layer of protection for sensitive company data when it’s being accessed on a personally owned device.
Complex passwords should be required that expire on a regular basis and require new, complex passwords. Although cumbersome at times, complex passwords that change frequently will prevent the occurrence of cyber attacks against personal devices.
Make sure the OS on all personal devices is updated regularly with the required patches. This is an essential step in protecting important company information since new vulnerabilities are addressed continuously via the issuance of patches in every OS update. Leaving an OS without proper updates opens a large door to your company’s information.
Define what apps, both local and cloud based, are permissible for company data storage. Only apps that are proven to be secure and are updated regularly should be used to store company information. Your list may change on a regular basis, but its presence should be known so employees can check it first before downloading new, and potentially vulnerable apps for company work.
Telecom consultants say, by implementing the above measures in addition to other sound practice guidelines, companies and employees both can enjoy the benefits of BYOD, while keeping sensitive corporate data secure.
Your business may enjoy higher productivity amongst its employees, greater efficiency from start to finish in a business process, lower operating cost thanks to significantly less IT and Telecom procurement and maintenance needs, and higher retention due to satisfied employees.
Employees will enjoy the flexibility of working where they want when they want on devices they are most comfortable with, and ones that are quite possibly newer and more advanced than what is offered on the corporate side.
Employees will be more likely to engage and invest in the company they are working for due to a robust and fair BYOD policy. Happier, invested employees create a win-win scenario for both the workforce and the employer.