The BYOD Dilemma for Small Business Owners
From checking work email on an Android smartphone, to updating balance sheets on a personal iPad, more and more employees are using personal devices for work related functions. The bring your own device (BYOD) era is here and small business owners need to be prepared for the proliferation of personal devices at the work environment. From cost savings to security concerns, there is no debate that there are advantages and disadvantages to BYOD.
BYOD can save business owners money by deferring overhead cost of mobile devices and laptop computers to their employees. Because the maintenance of these devices are usually the responsibility of the individual employee, IT staff can be reduced and refocused on other business initiatives. Additionally, employees are usually more comfortable using their own devices, making them more productive because they are not spending time learning a new system or working on system they don’t prefer. Employees enjoy the flexibility of only carrying around their personal devices instead of multiple devices leading to increased satisfaction and are more likely to upgrade their own personal devices more often than businesses are, providing additional advantage of using cutting edge technology.
On the contrary, BYOD produces some concerns for employers and employees. Employees may be discouraged by the fact that they are now responsible for the cost of purchasing and maintaining their own devices which could have an adverse reaction by placing an additional burden on employees. Furthermore, BYOD places a larger responsibility on the employer by requiring non-standardized devices with varying levels of security, patches, and use loads. Public organizations will also encounter discovery issues with devices that are not standardized.
Regardless of one's opinion on BYOD, devices will slowly integrate themselves into the workplace. It will provide larges challenges for business owners, IT staff, and legal departments but on the contrary will open new horizons in the technology sector.