The ‘Bring your Own Device’ Culture (BYOD) – What’s The Cost?
Companies worldwide have become a part of IT consumerization, increasingly so over the past few years. Allowing employees to bring their own technological gadgets such as smartphones, laptops, tablets and PDAs, and authorizing them to work using their own devices instead of using the organization’s own IT infrastructure, opens the doors to increased diversity and higher employee satisfaction.
The BYOD approach has seeped deeply into the corporate culture of many countries and is said to have definite and visible positive impacts on employee productivity and growth. Since employees are more comfortable on their personal devices and know their navigation track towards resolving any minor problem occurred, it is also reported to be an attractive policy for new hires. However, the perceived productivity increment could go astray with the many higher costs inculcated in the transaction, including security threats and various other concerns.
1. Data Protection, a Tough Job
Needless to say data protection is critical, especially when it comes to a company’s sensitive information. Mobile data breaches have become a regular occurence and BYOD often leads to end node problems (when personal computers and other devices are used for sensitive tasks under the protection of a trusted network and then are connected to risky and untrusted networks leading to security threats).
2. Lost Gadgets, Lost data
A BYOD policy often increases the risk of data loss and breach of secured information in case of gadgets being lost or stolen. Anyone can access secured data and connections on the smartphone/tablet if the device is lost, and it could be very stressful to not only retrieve the information but also to restrict further access from those devices to company accounts and private data. Another problem arises when employees fail to uninstall the company applications or other software, allowing them access to the firm’s sensitive information when they leave workforce which could be detrimental to the company in case of forced resignations.
3. Compromised Organizational Structure
Work structure could be greatly compromised without proper track of information regarding project completion and progress since personal gadgets are being used for work. Working away from the desk often results in the schedules and task being disorganized and haphazard. Without constant connectivity with work related tasks, reminders, project plans, shared documents, notes, and calendars, employees might find it difficult to stay in the ‘office mood’ working from their personal gadgets.
4. Over worked or Under Worked Employees
Employees might feel they are adding more than the fair share to their job by working from their personal gadgets as it often leads to free time at home occupied with work too on their own devices. Also, with employee’s own gadgets used for work, temptation to check personal emails and social media accounts is typically hard to resist, resulting in wastage of time at work and more distractions.
5. Difficulty in Monitoring
Companies can easily monitor data usage and potential risks to security on the technological devices connected to the central network at office premises, but with employees’ own gadgets used for work, it could be very difficult for the organization to keep track of information, data usage and breach of secured connections on personal devices.
Organizations may benefit from BYOD policy, but they need to ensure that a holistic, well-planned system is in place that enables protection from malware and other potential damage to the company’s secured information and sensitive data. If the device belongs to the company, installation of software and applications keeping personal and organizational data separate could lessen the risks associated with BYOD but security measures on employees’ devices brought for work and monitoring through various other practices is a necessity.