As 2017 winds down, it is time to forecast the workplace technology trends for 2018 and anticipate how these trends can impact your business. We are in the business of making sure you are prepared for what the changing technology environment will throw your way.
One of the biggest trends is Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. These policies allow employees to use their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones for work, accessing corporate IT resources and shared files through the cloud.
What are the benefits of a BYOD policy for your business?
The work environment continues to change and your team may no longer be in the office from 9-5 Monday-Friday (remote work and telecommuting is another big 2018 workplace trend).
There are many benefits to BYOD policies. Switching between devices leaves additional room for errors and inconveniences that could result in lost productivity, such as leaving an important document saved on the office desktop and being unable to access it over the weekend. When your employees are using their own devices, instead of switching from one device for work and using another at home, it is easier for them to access files when they need them, increasing their ability to be productive.
There are potential cost saving elements associated with BYOD policies, as your company may not have to shoulder the burden of purchasing hardware. Employees may even like being allowed to use their own preferred devices. After all, as so many people already own a smartphone, providing a company cell phone may be unnecessary, even cumbersome as users need to switch between their work and personal mobile devices. Instead of buying a laptop when you onboard a new employee, you may only need to purchase supplemental software like Photoshop and antivirus solutions. Having company purchased software like the Adobe Creative Suite that they may not otherwise access can be an additional perk of the job, improving your relationship with your employees. They also get to use devices they are most comfortable with, instead of being a Mac user at home who must adjust to a PC at the office, or vice versa. In many ways, the policy seems like a win for everyone involved, but BYOD workplaces also have their share of risks.
What are the risks?
Your employees are not all going to be IT professionals, and that means that BYOD policies leave more room for user error and security risks than if every worker is using devices selected and maintained by your IT department. You will need to set specific security policies, and look at providing a secure network for your employees to access from home, rather than accessing unsecured WIFI networks. When you implement a BYOD policy, you may give up a level of control. When an employee leaves there is potential for sensitive information like company passwords and intellectual property leaving with them.
There are many reasons that BYOD policies are becoming more and more common, but is it right for your company? We have outlined some of the general productivity, cost, and convenience considerations. We can also help you assess the costs and benefits of a BYOD policy for your unique business and create a cyber security strategy to minimize your risk. Don’t worry about figuring it out on your own, contact SolutionWorx today!