Should your company have BYOD?

Should your company have BYOD?

July 16th, 2013 by Christopher C. Wright

Spread the word —

BYOD, or “bring your own device,” is a budding concept within Bay Area businesses where employees are encouraged to bring in their own laptops or tablets, and to connect work email accounts to their smartphones. With great benefits but also hidden pitfalls, the growth of BOYD has changed the game for both employees and business owners throughout Sonoma County.

BYOD means lower up-front costs for employers. Instead of adding a new employee to an existing workspace cell phone plan, let alone the cost of a new smartphone itself, an employer who encourages their workers to bring their own devices may save hundreds in up-front and recurring infrastructure costs. Companies that provide laptops for their employees will find the cost of integrating a new hire into the workforce greatly reduced as well, for those employees who use their own personal laptop for work-related tasks, especially on the go or from home.

BOYD is convenient for both business owners and employees; gone are the days where Wall Street executives carry two cellular phones and laptops. The name of today’s mobile world is “portability,” and being able to streamline how many devices one has can reduce the chance of misplacing equipment, of accidental damage or fraud, and the likelihood that important calls or emails will be missed. Employees are more likely to take better care of their personal possessions than of corporate resources, and are often available to be reached by phone or email around the clock with the rise of today’s smartphones.

However, BYOD control is a two-way street. In a bring your own device environment, both the employer and employee give up certain benefits of a traditional corporate cell phone and laptop. For the business owner, IT costs tend to be higher in a BYOD environment due to a lack of standardization and control at the network level. The threat of viruses and malware infestations is much higher in personal devices than in single-purpose machines, and companies which fail to maintain a minimum number of corporate phone numbers or cell lines may lose the bulk pricing packages carriers provide. In addition, there is a lack of control for private or proprietary data, and who has access to what. For the employee, many fail to realize that by syncing their personal mobile phone with the corporate email servers, their entire device may be wiped, personal information as well as corporate, either as part of standard data-cleaning procedures or as part of an exit interview. Giving personal control of your devices to a third party always introduces risks, and with more and more of our lives contained on cell phones and laptops, the risks for employees may be larger than they first expect.

Finally, BYOD allows for all-hours access to both employees and corporate resources, which while likely to improve productivity and project deadlines, can also lead to increased stress and a lowered sense of job satisfaction. Many employees feel obligated to respond to emails, work-related or not, when their phone or laptop dings, and managers may have increased expectations of workplace performance if they know they can reach their subordinates at any time. In addition there are many legal boundaries that must be overcome, particularly in the realm of compensation — state and federal law dictate many aspects of how long employees may be asked to work in a day, and many states consider answering even a single after-hours email to be billable time, potentially costing the company hundreds if not thousands every month in overtime and other wages.

Is BYOD a sound strategy for your business? We at MSMB Networks are more than happy to take an honest look at your company’s goals and current needs, and help you decide whether to implement a bring your own device policy or not. And if so, to structure the plan to maximize productivity while minimizing employee intrusion or costly overhead. Many companies in Sonoma County are exploring BYOD, and we think that many industries could benefit from at least examining the potential of this growing trend.


MSMB Networks — Your IT Professionals!


Christopher C. Wright is the CTO of MSMB Networks, focusing on network and system administration, upgrade planning, disaster recovery, and IT budget analysis in Petaluma and all over Sonoma and Marin Counties. With more than fifteen years of hands-on experience, he is committed to educating and protecting his clients, ensuring they receive the best individualized support possible. Email him at christopher@msmbnetworks.com

Spread the word —

Latest Tweets

No tweets returned

MSMB Networks

info@msmbnetworks.com
855 Grouse Ln
Petaluma, CA 94954
415.462.6297