By this point, it’s common knowledge: “Bring Your Own Device” isn’t a trend, it’s the future. Workplaces that allow personal devices are the new normal which means that a BYOD policy attracts new hires, and it also lifts employee morale and productivity. But this doesn’t mean a small business owner should recklessly jump right into BYOD just because everyone else is doing it. Data and network security concerns must be thought out, defined, and addressed in a comprehensive BYOD policy. Here the main things to consider.
COST OF SUPPORT
Most businesses love the money saved by having employees participate in a BYOD program. With employees using their own devices, there’s no need to shell out thousands of dollars for smartphones, tablets, and laptops. While that’s undoubtedly a huge incentive, extra support costs must also be factored in. Chances are your employees aren’t necessarily tech savvy and will need help deploying applications and performing basic yet very necessary maintenance techniques. Unless you have a dedicated IT support team, which most small businesses don’t have, you’ll need to turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) in your region for support. An MSP has specialized expertise, and they usually leverage Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools to keep your network infrastructure and business applications monitored, secured, and fully optimized.
LIMITED NUMBER OF SUPPORT DEVICES
Obviously, you can’t accommodate every employee-owned device. Limiting the types of devices accepted in your BYOD program will lessen the need to pay for software or equipment upgrades for outdated devices and keep your infrastructure safer. It’s important to not be too exclusive, select a broad range of devices (and their more recent releases) to accommodate the varied preferences/tastes of your employees.
It’s unavoidable fact that adopting a favorable BYOD policy will expose your company to more legal risks. Sensitive business or private client/customer data can potentially be exposed if devices are lost or stolen. The personal online habits of your employees can also increase your network’s vulnerability to viruses, phishing, or hacking schemes. These increased legal risks are another reason why small businesses must take precautions like working with a MSP that offers a solid MDM solution to ensure all employee devices are configured, deployed, managed and monitored in a manner that prioritizes data integrity and security.
FIND THE RIGHT ASSISTANCE
While the small business way of “rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself” is admirable, in the world of technology, it can be dangerous. Make sure you engage with a reputable and experienced IT partner that can make sure you don’t miss any details. As the saying goes, that’s where the devil is! Reach out to us if you’d like some help crafting the BYOD policy for your company.