If you have not come across BYOD before, it stands for Bring Your Own Device and is when businesses allow their employees to use their own laptops, tablets and smartphones for work, instead of supplying them themselves. When BYOD is used in conjunction with a cloud-based system, it brings many benefits. In this post, weâ€™ll look at what these are.
When businesses with cloud-based systems begin to offer BYOD, it enables employees to work away from the office whilst still being able to access the system over the internet. This means that where ever an employee is, theyâ€™ll still be able to access the data and files they need.
As a result, it offers companies a great deal of flexibility. For example, if there is no need for an employee to be physically in the office to carry out their work, they can work from home, using their own laptop. If this applies to enough staff, it is possible to use smaller office premises cutting the cost of business rents, rates, utility bills, maintenance and insurance.
It also enables companies to offer more flexible working conditions which are better suited to those who need to work around things like childcare. As a result, talented individuals who would have been put off by rigid 9-5 routines may be willing to work for you.
Keep employees happy and reduce training costs
We all have our preferred devices for work; some like to use Windows computers, while others prefer to work with Apple Macs. When you supply your own devices, it is easier for a company to lease these in bulk and as a result, everyone gets the same thing.
It can, however, be difficult for those who have always used Windows to work with a Mac and vice versa. It can take them time to learn the new skills and even require training to take place. Until they are up to scratch, their productivity levels will be less than expected. Giving them the chance to use their own device removes these obstacles and leads to higher morale and improved job satisfaction.
App compatibility and employee collaboration
If you think that application compatibility may be an issue with BYOD, youâ€™ll be relieved to know that many apps can be used across a range of different operating systems and devices. For example, Office 365, perhaps the most widely used business suite, works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, enabling your employees to work anywhere, any time with its email and other applications. In addition, with Team Sites, which is included with Office 365, employees can improve collaboration while in different locations, editing documents simultaneously and taking part in online conferences.
Cuts the cost of device leasing
The obvious advantage of BYOD is that if employees are using their own devices to work, you donâ€™t have to buy or lease them. Developments in computer technology mean that whether purchased or leased, hardware will become dated and even obsolete within a few years. As a result, there is the constant cost of replacing it. BYOD gets rid of this cost.
In addition, if your IT department provides maintenance for BYOD devices (itâ€™s worth doing as your staff will still have IT issues which might affect their work) itâ€™s unlikely this will need as much input as it would with hardware provided internally. Staff generally take care of their own devices better than they do company devices and they are more likely to understand how to sort out minor errors themselves.
BYOD is compatible with data security
With the introduction of GDPR, one concern about BYOD is whether its use could ensure that confidential information and customer data remained secure. The answer is yes, provided that itâ€™s properly regulated and monitored and that only those employees who need to use the data are given access to it.
Key to ensuring data is secure is having sound password management, including making sure that employees are trained on password safety and that strong passwords are used when connecting to business systems.
At the same time, employees must agree to regularly back up their systems and update software to more secure versions when they are released. This will prevent any security holes in older versions being exploited by hackers. If using software such as Office 365, these apps will be updated automatically.
For companies that use cloud computing, the option to allow employees to bring their own devices offers a number of advantages. It increases their flexibility, it keeps employees happier, it enables them to continue to use the same apps, it saves money and, if implemented wisely, is compatible with GDPR and other regulations.