The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) era has transformed the way that companies communicate with customers, vendors and stakeholders. One way BYOD can positively impact a company’s bottom line is that employees often assume the cost of hardware. They typically prefer to pick the device they want to use rather than the company standard. Another benefit is maximized efficiency because employees don’t need to be in the office to respond to calls and emails. And because BYOD is associated with the use of the latest cutting edge technology, companies can anticipate even more efficiency in the future. One of the biggest benefits for BYOD users is that they can carry a single device instead of one for personal use and one for business.
Some researchers estimate that over one-third of companies will require that employees provide their own devices by 2017.
You should not adopt a BYOD policy without first considering the risks and the potential impacts to your business.
Non-exempt employees who work on their devices after hours must be paid for the time they perform duties including checking and responding to work emails, texts and messages. Therefore this work needs to be approved by supervisors and tracked accordingly. One way to avoid this issue is for supervisors to refrain from sending messages that require a response before the next business day.
Business Risks Associated with BYOD
Cyberthieves and hackers are targeting mobile devices at an alarming rate. This July Kaspersky released a report stating that a malware called Accessibility Clickjacking infected 500 million Android devices. With 95.4 percent of all Android devices susceptible to attacks ranging from ransomware to email impersonation, companies with BYOD must have protection policies in place.
An increased use of tablets, laptops and smart phones opens a business up to other risks as well:
- Confidential data may be distributed into the cloud arena
- User may download apps from untrusted sources
- Compliance standards will be violated
- Loss of the device may put sensitive information into the wrong hands
Why Company Executives Should Consider these Risks and Benefits
C-suite executives including CEOs, CFOs and Sales Managers need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of adopting a BYOD policy. From a Sales Manager’s perspective the increased ability of the sales team to reach prospects and clients anytime from anywhere is very attractive. From a CEO’s view having a highly responsive staff increases the reputation of the company but the losses associated with a security breach could outweigh the benefits. And the CFO has to balance costs such as overtime pay with the potential of increased revenue.
Future BYOD Trends to Consider
The increase in the adoption of BYOD policies is expected to continue through 2017 and beyond. In fact, some researchers estimate that over-one third of companies will require employees provide their own devices by 2017. Clearly, with increased BYOD usage companies need to focus on reducing the risks by implementing device security measures and learning how to improve existing BYOD policies and procedures.