It seems like everyone is doing it – bringing a personally-owned device to work. The smartphone sits next to the desk phone, the tablet on the other side of the laptop. If all devices are integrated, that’s a great indication the individual doesn’t need them all in the same place. If they’re not, a lot of time may be wasted. In a market where bring your own device (BYOD) programs seem to be gaining momentum, how do you know what’s right for your company?
In the days of the BlackBerry, it made sense to issue mobile devices to your staff if they needed to work remotely in any capacity. There was a great deal of control when it came to email, access to your network, and overall security. There wasn’t an App Store, you didn’t have to worry about games being played on your time, and your team of professionals could stay connected. It seemed like the optimal approach to going mobile – but we now know it was only the beginning.
Today, Apple, Google, and Samsung have made it much easier for the average consumer to leverage smart technology for both their personal and professional lives. Smart devices can easily integrate with corporate email, access cloud-based resources, tap into the corporate network, and even leverage key applications for getting work done. At the same time, these devices take pictures of the kids, send texts to friends, and launch Facebook to check in on weekend plans.
Gartner found in 2016 that only 22 percent of companies provide employees with phones directly. Ease of use is one advantage of BYOD, as users report they are more satisfied with their device as compared with those who receive corporate issued phones and PCs. Tablets may be on their way out, as Gartner also found that only 21 percent of professionals use tablets for work, whether personally owned or corporately issued.
There are, however, pitfalls to BYOD which could drive change throughout the next decade. For one, the cost to manage security and overall legal obligations has increased significantly. This tends to be more common in Europe and APAC, as a myriad of browsers and operating systems result in pre-loaded phones containing “bloatware” that threatens employer and employee security.
In situations where employers are reimbursing employees for the use of their own devices, it’s difficult to fairly determine amounts and separate business from personal. One court ruling in California has already set the stage for mandating businesses reimburse their employees. While the ruling isn’t final, it certainly won’t be the last of its kind.
This is not to say that BYOD can’t be successful, but it does demand a clear policy and enforcement in order to be successful. At Compass Solutions, we have the experience necessary to help you walk through the uncertainty of putting the right policy in place. Contact us today to start the BYOD conversation.