Research shows that the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend is not only here to stay, but will, in fact, grow in significance in next few years. Human Capital Management and HR experts at CRS Technologies believe that businesses ought to conduct a thorough cost and needs analysis before applying a strategy.
The company refers to Gartner studies on this evolving trend, specifically the prediction that almost four in ten (40%) organisations will rely exclusively on BYOD by 2016.
“Meaning they will no longer provide devices to employees. Additionally, eighty five percent of businesses will have some kind of BYOD program in place by 2020,” says James McKerrell, CEO of CRS Technologies.
Against this background of fast growing significance and relevance to the market, it is to be expected that companies will be eager to formulate and apply a BYOD strategy as a matter of urgency.
But it is more advisable for business decision makers to take a step back, consider a number of factors and measure these against core business requirements – irrespective of how attractive the proposition to reduce company investment in devices and lower costs is to financial directors, says McKerrell.
Key considerations include data privacy and security, compatibility, and tech leasing. As McKerrell explains if employees are allowed to use their own mobile devices at work there is a need to implement a robust BYOD security policy.
“This policy should clearly state the company’s position and governance policy to ensure network security is not breached. Privacy can be compromised on both sides. Just one stolen phone can send an entire organisation into crisis. Things like remote deletion of data and access points come to the fore,” he says.
Security aside, another critical component of the BYOD strategy development and integration is the serious challenge of having to ensure internal systems work on any device.
“Version mismatch, conflicting platforms, wrong configurations, inadequate access rights, incompatible hardware and devices that do not support a protocol or software are just some of the issues that arise with BYOD,” says McKerrell.
Leasing, not buying tech
The reality of BYOD is that employees are using their own infrastructure for work which means that they could expect compensation from their employers.
As McKerrell and his executive team advise, when drafting a strategy it is important for decision makers to consider the scenario like that of a rental: wear and tear charges apply. “If the laptop has a meltdown, who pays for the repair?”
While there is no denying the benefits associated with BYOD – including a reduction in outlay on IT hardware and upgrades, more satisfied staff who use their own technology, and the ability to work from anywhere, at anytime – true mobility – the truth is that the trend requires circumspection before as strategy is put in place.
“My best advice? Do a thorough cost and needs analysis, and if you don’t already have some kind of BYOD security protocol in place, start now, even if it’s just to protect yourself from a sneaky lunchtime Facebook session via your network!,” McKerrell adds.