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BYOD – What Business Owners Need to Know

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A new technology trend is equipping workers with high-powered mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. Employees are now bringing their tech into work to make themselves more efficient and productive while at the office. Is your organization ready for a Bring Your Own Device policy?

Since the advent of the digital age, the importance of computers in the workforce cannot be overstated, particularly in terms of efficiency , productivity and the sharing of information. However, it may be the case that the computer provided for you by your company may simply not be up to snuff. According to Moore’s Law, the speed and capability of integrated circuits is roughly doubled every two years, so if you haven’t had a workstation upgrade in over five years, employees may be working with the digital equivalent of typewriters. If this is the case, you may want to consider bringing your own computer device to work.

From a corporate perspective, instituting a Bring Your Own Device policy (BYOD) has a number of advantages, such as less money invested in computer infrastructure and more freedom of choice among end users. That said, there are a number of advantages for the BYOD employee as well, such as the greater amount of familiarity with a personal device, its capabilities and its weaknesses.

A downside; many corporate computers do not allow programs to be added or removed without authorization. An employee has full control over their own personal device. This means they could use non-standard software and applications that might not be backwards compatible with your solutions, or they could be using pirated software, which is certainly not a good practice.

  • In some cases, BYOD units are often used by the spouses and children of employee, many of whom deal with confidential and proprietary information.
  • It is subject to be used in an unsafe matter where it could be damaged, lost, or stolen.
  • When the time comes to repair or dispose such units, the increased amount of personal information present on these computers presents additional security risks, both to the employee and the corporation.
  • It can be much more difficult to discipline an employee for “improper use” of their own device, requiring a system of rules and regulations to be devised.
  • If an employee is fired or quits, the retrieval of corporate data can be made considerably harder.

In other words, there’s a lot to consider!

Thankfully, a number of these setbacks can be neatly avoided with smart policy decisions, such as requiring employee’s to turn over their computers before leaving the company’s employ, insisting on shared computing standards for ease of networking or demanding that employees utilize company-approved security programs before being allowed to use their own devices. Many organizations that have adopted BYOD simply push out their own desktop environments that are virtualized in a central location essentially allowing an employee to work within the company’s infrastructure on any device, keeping everything centralized.

If you do decide to implement such a policy, be aware of the pros and cons and be ready to address any issues up front. For professional consultation and assistance setting up a BYOD policy and infrastructure, contact TMS at 1 (626) 737-2960.