More and more employees-especially the young, technologically savvy-are no longer satisfied with company-issued tools to get the job done. Known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), businesses are finding that employees want to swap company equipment in favor of personally owned devices, such as laptops, tablets or smartphones that they are more comfortable using.
BYOD can be a money-saver for companies, reducing the amount spent on hardware and software purchases, maintenance and the cost of training employees to use the equipment. Especially for rapidly expanding companies, allowing personally owned devices could save them thousands of dollars in upfront IT hardware costs for new employees. With BYOD, employees buy and maintain their own equipment. Companies can choose to compensate them by subsidizing or reimbursing their purchases, or offering flexible work schedules and the ability to work remotely.
In addition to saving money, BYOD can be effective for recruiting and retaining staff. With the freedom to choose the technology they are more comfortable working with, employees are more productive and satisfied with their jobs.
While BYOD saves some companies money, others could end up spending a lot more. Businesses that require the standardization of their applications, hardware and operating systems–meaning that some equipment must be integrated with others-could actually increase IT managment costs if personally owned devices were added to the mix.
Adopting BYOD exposes companies to two major risks: IT security risks and data loss. This alone may be enough to compel a company to ban BYOD altogether. Are these risks worth the benefits?
IT security threats are serious; however, this doesn’t necessarily mean you should forgo adopting BYOD. Your IT department can help mitigate the risks with the following:
1. Keeping track of which devices are corporate-issued and which are employee-owned
2. Installing digital certificates on each personal device so it can be authenticated before the employee uses it to log in to your network
3. Ensuring that the company’s Wi-Fi network is able to handle the increased number of Wi-Fi devices that access it so that it won’t negatively affect the network’s performance
4. Creating an Acceptable Use Policy, defining the rules for what employees should and should not do when they access your network, regardless if they use company computers or personally owned devices.
McSweeney & Ricci is a full service Insurance Agency that has provided personal and commmercial insurance, employee benefits and risk management services to clients since 1964. With three locations in Braintree, Marshfield and Cohasset, McSweeney & Ricci Insurance Agency provides clients with comprehensive insurance at competitive prices, along with the unparalleled customer service they deserve. For more information on this topic or on the numerous services we provide, contact us today at 1-800-843-6143.