More and more businesses are allowing employees to bring and use their own device from home. Known as a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, it’s become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, statistics show over half of all U.S. businesses now support BYOD. Of course, there are both advantages and disadvantages to BYOD. To determine if BYOD is right for your small business, keep reading.
Pro: Save Money on Device Purchases
With BYOD, you’ll save money on your small business’s device purchases. Some employees may not own a working computer or device, in which case you’ll have to provide one to them. Other employees, however, can bring and use their own device, meaning you won’t have to purchase a device for them. Depending on how many employees work for your small business, this can easily yield thousands of dollars in savings.
Con: No Universal OS or Interface
On the other hand, allowing employees to bring and use their own device means there’s no universal operating system (OS) or interface. Different employees will bring and use different devices. Some of these devices may use a common OS or interface, but others could use an entirely different OS interface. As a result, you may struggle to provide your employees with apps and tools that are compatible with their device.
Pro: Higher Employee Productivity
Employees are often more productive when using their own device rather than a device supplied to them by their employer. Without BYOD, employees must learn how to use the device given to them by your small business. In some cases, they may even have to take a training course to familiarize themselves with the device’s features. With BYOD, however, employees can use the same device they’ve been using at home and elsewhere, which usually means a higher level of productivity.
Con: Increased Risk of Data Breaches and Cyber Attacks
The biggest disadvantage of BYOD is an increased risk of data breaches and cyber attacks. When employees bring and use their own device, security concerns may arise. If an employee’s device isn’t protected — or if it already contains malware — it could be hijacked by a hacker to steal data, deploy viruses or perform other cyber attacks against your small business’s information technology (IT) infrastructure.
Pro: Increased Employee Satisfaction
BYOD can even have a positive impact on employee satisfaction levels. Although there are exceptions, most employees prefer using their own device rather than an employer-supplied device.