To BYOD or Not to BYOD . . . What’s Right for Your Company?

Confused about whether or not you should implement bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies at your company? Here’s why it may not be the best choice for your business.  

BYOD is a hot trend right now in telematics and telecom management, especially for construction, trucking, and other field service industries. Is it cheaper and easier to allow employees to use their personal devices at work? Based on our experience with BYOD policies, the answer is — not always. 

Aside from costing up to 33% more than employer-controlled device management programs, implementing a BYOD policy comes with several big drawbacks. Before you switch to BYOD or decide to stick with your current BYOD policy, consider this.  

BYOD Has Major Security Concerns 

By far the most serious and potentially costly disadvantage BYOD policies have over employer-managed device policies is hardware and software security. When your employees BYOD for work, you do not have control of the hardware, the software loaded on that hardware, or how the device is used outside of work hours. All of these present security concerns.  

When you adopt a BYOD policy, you relinquish control over device security settings, passcode use, and ultimately, any company data BYOD devices have access to. When an employee leaves your company, you have no way to wipe your data from their devices. As you might imagine, data breaches due to BYOD can be incredibly damaging and difficult to recover from. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to data security. BYOD policies make prevention difficult. With BYOD, you are unable to push crucial devices or software updates to your employees’ devices. This leaves your company data vulnerable to attacks. 

Deployment’s More Difficult—and Expensive—with BYOD 

At first glance, employers may think it would be cheaper to deploy BYOD policies, as employees are responsible for purchasing their own devices. However, this rarely turns out to be the case. An Oxford Economics study found that BYOD policies require the same corporate investment as employer-managed policies. While companies may save on device purchases, they have to invest more money in supporting an IT staff that must now service a wide variety of devices. 

Device management is a complex process when every team member is using the same device and software. When everyone on your team is using a different device, it becomes extremely difficult for your IT team to manage necessary software updates or assist your employees with technical issues. The extra time and effort your IT team must spend supporting BYODs brings the cost of these programs up to par with employer-managed plans. 

Due to these deployment disadvantages, when a client chooses to switch to a BYOD policy, eSquared is no longer able to manage their return merchandise authorization (RMA) process for them, an essential service that supports device repair and replacement. Without this support, employers (or employees) are on their own for device repairs and replacements, which can also lead to increased costs.  

Lost or Stolen BYOD Are More Difficult to Track 

Lost or stolen devices lead to lost productivity and financial costs no matter the device. But with BYOD, these costs are often amplified by your company’s lack of control. Employer-managed devices can be tracked or wiped remotely to keep your data safe. This is difficult to impossible with a BYOD. Not only do you lose productivity and the ability of that employee to perform important tasks while their phone’s missing, you’ll need to wait for them to purchase and set up their new device.  

Device Management Is Limited with BYOD 

When you supply devices to your employees, you have full control over the software and apps that can be accessed on those devices. Not only does this help make these devices more secure, it also helps you monitor employee use during work hours. Restricting downloads of social media, games, and other apps can help your employees stay focused on work during work hours.  

BYOD may seem like a smart move, but there are hidden financial, security, and productivity costs that make employer-managed policies a better choice for most companies. To learn more about your options, contact the eSquared team today.