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What are the Pros and Cons of BYOD Policies?

BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device policies are either loved and hated, and it’s understandable. While they allow you to run a much leaner operation, they can also be a logistical and security nightmare. Yet, you may not really have a choice at this point, given the changing nature of the current workforce. This, however, doesn’t mean that you absolutely have to institute a BYOD policy in your organization, especially if you’re not ready to deal with the challenges they bring. Here are some of the pros and cons of BYOD policies.

Selective Focus Photography of Person Holding Turned on Smartphone

Pro – Less Need for Hardware or Software

One of the great things about BYOD is that it allows employees to use their own hardware instead of the company hardware. For instance, no need to spend money on barcode scanners when you can use a barcode scanner javascript SDK that can create apps to use any smartphone camera as a scanning tool. This can help with things like inventory and asset management, but also for time tracking and task status verification. Apps can also be used to replace legacy systems and reduce the number of software licenses you have to pay for or maintain.

Con – Monitoring Issues

One thing that BYOD policies put your company at risk for is what is referred to as “shadow IT.” Shadow IT is an IT project that occurs outside of the scope of the IT department. In short, allowing your employees to go back and forth with your database and various cloud applications using all sorts of devices can be difficult to track.

However, while this is a real issue, there are some solutions. One would be to use a cloud access security blocker. This is a tool that sits right between cloud applications and users and allows for your IT department to have some control over logins and activity. This could allow them to keep an eye on suspicious actions, like uncharacteristically big downloads or demands for access at strange times, among other things.

Pro – Boost Morale, Retention, and Productivity

People love using their own devices, and the reality is that they’ll be more efficient and happy if you let them use the tools they know and love. Studies have found that employees would rather use their own devices when given the chance, even if it meant paying for the coverage. So, consider going for the option if you want to increase employee satisfaction and retention.

Con – IT has Harder Job

BYOD policies undeniably make the job of IT harder. Instead of having to deal with a set of standard devices, they now have to deal with all sorts of different devices. Some might be older, newer, or from different manufacturers. This means that building software becomes even more complex, as it has to be compatible with all these devices. Technical issues are also much more complex as well and might need the help of additional support.

BYOD policies have their benefits and disadvantages, and in some cases, you’ll have no choice but to make the jump. Before you do, however, make sure that there is no other alternative, and that you have the mechanisms in place to make sure that the security of your data and assets aren’t compromised.