Should You Adopt a BYOD Policy in the Workplace?

Nathan |

Is bring-your-own-device (BYOD) a fad or the future of business hardware procurement? Determining whether your organisation should adopt a BYOD policy can be a difficult process, as so many elements from usability to data security, interoperability and ease of maintenance need to be factored in. 

In this post, we weigh up the arguments and examines some of the common issues raised by decision-makers considering a BYOD policy. Read on and determine whether it’s right for you, your team and your organisation.

Bring your own device to work

Delivering a consistent, seamless experience 

There’s a simplicity in sameness. Being able to guarantee that your entire workforce is working with one of only a handful of different hardware configurations eliminates much of the guesswork involved in troubleshooting and software procurement, allowing you to roll out changes and address issues faster. When your sales team is using the same laptop or phone as your HR department, you’ll need to spend less time testing new updates and software prior to deployment. 

That comfort can often lead businesses to rule out BYOD policies at an early stage, but it’s not something you necessarily need to give up. With the increasing move at all levels of the economy and in businesses of every size towards the cloud, it’s highly likely that most or all of the tools your business uses are already highly portable, if not fully platform agnostic. The rise of software-as-a-service means that businesses can deliver identical user experiences on radically different devices, all with no or minimal configuration on their end. Take a close look at what kind of tools your business is using and reassess whether BYOD is right for you. 

Managing your business’ security 

Similarly, it’s assumed that limiting the number of hardware configurations in your business isn’t just easier, it’s safer. The thinking goes that introducing new devices, new operating systems and new patterns of use radically expands the attack surface of a business, opening up new opportunities for hackers to penetrate your infrastructure. 

Security can be an issue for BYOD policies, but it can be done right. A properly implemented BYOD policy can avoid many of these issues by being strict about where the line between personal and business use of the device is. Suggestions include mandating the use of a separate, secure profile for any work matters on each device, requiring two-factor authentication to access mission-critical systems and forcing updates on enrolled devices to ensure they’re fully protected. All of this comes down to execution, so consider what your corporate security needs are and plan your approach carefully. 

Work with the professionals 

If you’d like assistance on developing a BYOD policy or have questions about finding platform-agnostic software for your workforce, start a conversation with our team here at The IT Department. Our staff will be happy to help you build a more flexible, resilient and agile organisation.