Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – the risks and benefits

More and more organisations are waking up to the advantages of allowing their staff to work on their personal tech devices in the workplace, and the events of the last couple of years will doubtless have gone some way to assuage the reservations of those companies still unsure about trying this approach. And with plenty of benefits to be enjoyed with a BYOD policy, it seems likely that this trend will soon become the norm.

However, no company should make the switch without making careful preparations, as having employees working from personal devices can also lead to significant security threats if it is not handled properly.

A Popular Trend

Right now, a staggering 95% of businesses allow employees to bring their own device to work, in some form or another [1]. In doing so, these organisations are being rewarded with substantial returns in terms of staff productivity. Indeed, a survey by Samsung found companies with this policy have reported a 34% increase in productivity in staff who were able to address their workflows on their smartphones, whilst companies who facilitate working on personal devices saw a gain of around 240 hours worth of extra work produced by each employee, per year.

These figures certainly make personal device use appear very attractive to business leaders, and there are more advantages to be had, too, including the ability to save on paying for devices out of the company’s own funds.

The Risks Of Bring Your Own Device

However, as with any kind of technology, the policy of allowing staff to work on their own devices does come with certain risks. There is a danger that sensitive data might be compromised if the organisation’s approved security protocols are not extended to, or upheld across, personal devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones. This risk is especially strong if there are no clear policy guidelines for working with a personal device, and, worryingly, only 49% of companies reported that this was the case [2].

Without a clear policy setting out how personal devices may be used for work purposes, IT security becomes a real issue for businesses and the threats increase if staff are also accessing workloads via public Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops or on public transport. There can also be dangers if staff are using older devices that are no longer supported with the latest software patches or updates. With data compliance being a major priority by organisations, it’s vital that any organisation considering implementing a “Bring Your Own Device” policy takes the necessary steps to ensure everyone involved is fully aware of how to work safely.

Impressive Benefits

When the security question is properly addressed, allowing staff to use their own devices can be wonderful for a business. As well as the increased productivity and savings in tech expenditure, you can expect to see an improvement in employee interactions, as it becomes easier to incorporate social networking on platforms such as Rippl, Kudos and Yammer [3]. This is also an excellent way to consolidate agile working practices, as well as helping to keep staff motivated over the long term.

With the majority of IT departments also in favour of a well-managed policy, it seems clear that it makes sense to try this way of working, which will only become more commonplace as time goes on.

Make The Switch With Expert Guidance

It’s essential to have a clear and comprehensive policy in place before allowing employees to work on their personal devices, and if this seems a daunting proposition, it doesn’t have to be. By partnering with the specialists at Reflective IT, you can be confident that you have the right protocols and guidance in place to safely proceed with a “Bring Your Own Device” scheme.

Our expert advice can give you the peace of mind you need to move forward, so why not get in touch today, on 0207 317 4535, or at [email protected], and discover how Reflective IT can help your business move seamlessly to this new way of working.





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