BYOD - business friend or foe?

BYOD is becoming increasingly popular in both large and small organisations. Using employees’ own devices on your business network may seem like an attractive proposition to reduce overheads and capital outlay on new hardware –  but what are the real implications of adopting a BYOD strategy? Will flexible working based on BYOD compromise standard business processes and data security? Do the benefits really outweigh the pitfalls?

Allowing employees to use their own devices, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or laptop means that staff will be familiar with their usual interface, which should make the users more productive. BYOD should also increase business flexibility: Employees are more likely to work out of standard office hours from home or other locations using their own machines.

Considerations to be addressed

Before you roll out your BYOD policy, you should draw up a list of considerations to bear in mind when creating a BYOD strategy. Once you have developed your strategy, it’s important to have clear policies that are communicated throughout your organisation and that all staff agree to the policy, so that there’s no ambiguity when using their own equipment.

Devices

You will need to explain to employees the benefits and disadvantages of using their own devices. You need to make sure that your employees believe that BYOD will be good for them as well as the business. Consider listing acceptable devices to be included in the BYOD programme. One of the advantages to the business is to include the latest technology, so you don’t want your staff to use an out of date, slow tablet which might also have some security issues.

Explain the compensation programme for employees in relation to the use of voice or data services so that there are no disagreements over usage.

Support and Security

Make the policy in relation to IT support for employees’ own equipment clear so that they understand what will be supported and how and when they can access support. It’s even more important to establish firm cyber security procedures as you want to avoid increased vulnerabilities caused by BYOD.

Review the impact of additional traffic on your corporate network due to BYOD and consider whether your existing systems and network will be able to handle BYOD. Will you need to upgrade to accommodate the additional devices?

If your staff are using their own devices in the workplace, consider your policy in the event of a device being stolen, lost or broken. Again, it’s important to have no ambiguity in relation to these possibilities. A review of your company insurance policy should help. And while you’re at it, look at the potential impact of BYOD on your cyber security insurance.

There’s a lot to consider when you think about implementing BYOD in your business. Over the next few weeks, we will publish further blogs to advise you particularly about security in relation to BYOD.

To find out more about HW Technology’s advice and guidance on BYOD strategies, contact us.