The Bring Your Own Device trend looks set to gather momentum this year. If you’ve missed all BYOD hype over the last twelve months, this quick pros and cons guide can bring you up to speed and let you decide if 2013 is the year your business gets on board with BYOD.
1. It can save you money
Technology is moving at such a pace that most businesses can’t afford to kit their staff out with the latest tablets, smartphones and computers. For a small business, buying new IT equipment for new staff as they grow can be expensive. Letting your staff use their own devices might be the solution.
2. Your employees can get more done
Why consign somebody who’s spent all their life using an apple computer to working on an unfamiliar PC, or arming an avid HTC user with a Blackberry? The simple fact is that people work faster, smarter, better when they use a device they’re comfortable with. It also means…
3. They’ll be happier, too
It makes sense that staff who can use a device they’re comfortable with will be happier, and it will do your corporate image a world of good. You’ll attract the sort of employees you need to compete: agile, hardworking and keen to use the latest technology.
4. More flexibility
The modern working day no longer takes place between 9-5 on a weekday in the confines of an office building. For some people, planes, trains and kitchen tables have to double as their office. So being chained to one computer or phone in the office is no good. Workers need portable devices they can access information from at all times.
This is even more important if you’re operating in a business to consumer (B2C) environment. If your customers are most active on evenings and weekends and you want your staff to be on hand, working from a portable device is the only answer.
5. You’ll save energy
Laptops use considerably less energy than desktops, so you’ll use far less electricity powering them. According to the Energy Saving Trust, desktop computers use 85% more energy over the course of a year than laptops, adding around £30 to your energy overheads. Just think - that's £30 you could save straight away if your staff were working from their own laptops, versus office computers. Just be sure you take all the same measures to save energy on portable devices by using things like screen savers and putting devices to sleep after a period of inactivity.
There are clearly overwhelming reasons why you should, like 80% of the IT Managers in this survey believed companies allowing BYOD to some degree hold a competitive advantages. But before you deploy BYOD, make sure you've got your bases covered and have thought of: .
1. Lost data
Embracing BYOD can leave you open to losing data and send your IT department into a cold sweat. With so many different devices, it can be a struggle to manage and provide security for them all. That’s where we come in.
BT, together with Cisco, can make sure you have a secure network to start off with which every device can connect to. We can also help you limit who can access sensitive information, minimising the risk.
2. Are staff using the right devices?
They might be happier and more comfortable using a device they know, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s equipped to deal with the tasks they need to perform at work rather than at home. Running software programs and storing files is a lot more demanding that browsing the internet and going on Facebook.
But the bottom line is that there’s really nothing to be scared of as long as you have a policy for BYOD, communicate this policy clearly with the rest of your business and take steps to protect yourself.
Does your workplace support BYOD, and have you seen any benefits? We’d love to know, so please do tell us in the comments section below.