Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is gaining more and more popularity in Corporate Australia. What exactly is BYOD? BYOD enables employees to use their own smartphones, tablets, computers instead of company hardware to perform work tasks. Since Australia is number 2 in the world for smartphone usage (following Singapore, who maintains the lead), it is becoming more popular for Australians to use their own devices instead of those of the company, but is this a good trend to follow?
Let’s discuss the pros and cons shall we? One of the main reasons to go ahead with a BYOD policy is the employee happiness factor. There are so many different smartphones and computers out there that each person has their own preference as to what device they prefer. In order for companies to attract the best type of people, they are starting to adopt the notion that employees can bring their own device. This, of course, fosters employee happiness and motivates employees to work their best for the company. Another pro for the company would be fewer expenses spent on purchasing and maintaining computer hardware. However, with these pros there are obvious cons that companies need to take into account. The biggest concern is company privacy. Steps need to be taken to ensure that these devices are properly secure. This means that the IT department needs to be well equipped to handle different types of devices and securing these devices.
Some aspects I feel need to be address when decided to opt for a BYOD policy are the following:
Device types: What devices should be allowed and what devices shouldn’t. To allow every type of device may be cumbersome for the IT department to manage, so establishing what criteria will be accepted with regards to devices is a good idea. I think its even a better idea when rolling out a BYOD policy to start small with only a few devices and gross as the company sees fit.
Cost management: Although BYOD decreases the expense for purchasing computer equipment; it might increase the costs for the IT department to be furnished with the proper tools and knowledge to maintain a BYOD policy. In addition, software licensing costs might increase due to different devices being implemented.
Occupational health and safety concerns: Usually when employees encounter health and safety issues most of the time it is related to computer usage at the office, having a BYOD policy may extend companies’ responsibility around occupational health and safety into the employees personal lives. This will eventually lead to increasing liabilities therefore creating a need for new compliances.
These are just some of the considerations to look into before deciding if a BYOD policy is suitable for your company. I’d like to hear your thoughts. For employees, would you really enjoy this policy in your workplace? For business owners, would you consider the implementation of this policy?