BYOD refers to “bring your own device” — a business environment where employees of an organization are permitted to use their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones instead of company-issued equipment.
Why is this allowed? Aside from saving money, the primary reasons are:
Familiarity: This may be the most obvious reason for workers to bring their own tablet or laptop to work. It may be the operating system, web browser or other apps on their devices that they know and feel comfortable using. They don’t have to live in two electronic worlds at the same time.
Simplicity: Companies have been providing their employees mobile phones for business use for decades. Now those employees carry two phones since everyone also has a personal phone. This can be a nuisance for your employees. It is hard enough to care for one mobile phone, and now they worry about two of them. The reality is that companies expect employees to be in contact 24/7, so company devices can’t be used only at work. They must be carried home, out to the store, etc. If the employees have a choice, they would much rather carry just one phone, their own, enabling them to be reachable by family and friends anytime. This can also be cheaper for everyone if the company offers to share the cost of using their device.
Productivity: Convenience can also result in better productivity. Having fewer devices means fewer distractions. Fewer distractions equal less wasted time. Saving time is always good for productivity.
Employee Relations: It makes employees feel good to be able to use their own devices at work. Higher employee morale is very important for any organization. Happier employees are more likely to work hard. So, if an employer gives its employees the liberty to bring their own devices to work, the results could be more satisfied workers.
If an organization chooses not to offer a BYOD environment, there is almost no way to enforce a no-BYOD policy outside office walls. Inevitably, someone will receive a text or email that is work-related on their personal device. Somewhere along the line, they will open confidential documents. If that device gets lost or stolen, your company data goes with it.
One way or another, organizations must structure their IT and cybersecurity policies with BYOD in mind to have the appropriate protections in place for both device management and safeguarding data.