We hear new acronyms all the time and have to look up what they mean. BYOD, Bring Your Own Device, is one of those acronyms that is growing in the IT field. BYOD is the practice of allowing the employees of an organization to use their own smartphones, or other devices for work purposes. A BYOD plan covers how to use a mobile device at work. Early on, many companies would issue their own devices which allowed them to adequately control the configuration of the device, but with the rise in personal mobile device use, companies have realized employees don’t want to be saddled with having to maintain two separate devices, one for company use and one for personal use. This, as well as company cost savings, are issues that have prompted the era of BYOD plans.
The basics of a BYOD Plan are:
- An acceptable use policy
- Application delivery
- Devices supported
- Support for devices
- Device stolen or lost
- What happens when a user leaves the company
- Reimbursement of costs
- Any agreements that end users need to sign
These areas in a BYOD plan will vary from company to company, but are needed to implement a strong plan that will protect both the company and the employee. A company should properly train its employees on the BYOD plan and what it entails, in order to reduce confusion and issues.
Most companies look to cut costs year over year. The cost of maintaining a fleet of phones has not really gotten any cheaper and before a BYOD plan, companies were paying for each device. Employers would provide phones or tablets or both and there are obviously significant costs for each. But, since our society has moved to a culture where everyone owns at least one mobile device, companies are leveraging that aspect for a significant cost savings.
Companies are saving not only on those first costs associated with the phone’s initial set up, including a calling plan, but also on the data usage and texting, which can be expensive. Through BYOD plans, companies are providing their services such as email, WIFI, and other application access and employees are providing and paying for their own devices, including the cost of the maintenance and excessive plan costs they would historically pay. This adds up to great cost savings and usually makes BYOD the optimal choice.
What other benefits are there to a BYOD plan? One would be the familiarity of the user to their devices. If users are more comfortable with their devices, they’ll keep them closer and use them more in day to day activities. This could result in increased productivity or maybe just a more engaged employee who is doing a better job because of their comfort with working with their own device.
Another benefit would be how an employee cares for a device that they own. Before when a company would issue a device, users could be rough on them because they knew that the company would replace it if it broke. I remember breaking one device and the thought was, who cares, the company will give me a new one. Now with a BYOD, the employee is much more careful because they don’t want to pay to replace it.
Completing work tasks remotely is another benefit. With cloud applications and web access, mobile devices are functional outside the office and even outside the home. Forgot to complete a time entry? The application for time entry that your company uses may have a mobile app or simply a web portal so you can do it at the restaurant on Friday night because you left the office before completing it. Now you don’t get that email or call from the boss that you forgot to enter your time.
All of these benefits to the company and employee are a really great reasons to have a BYOD plan, but being thorough and maintaining the BYOD plan is essential to protecting the company and the employees. MDM applications should always be used and training employees on the BYOD Plan is essential.
For more in depth information on how to start a BYOD plan, contact us.