The Pros and Cons of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

People bringing own device

What does ‘BYOD’ mean? (Bring Your Own Device)

Sometimes known as a SIM Only plan, Bring Your Own Device (or BYOD) is an option that many telcos offer that is worth considering for anyone looking for flexibility and good value. Over two thirds of revenue generated by telco companies comes from this type of plan. On the consumer end, BYOD plans allow customers to connect many internet-enabled devices on a single plan and to easily switch between mobile and data plans of various companies.

BYOD allows for a greater sense of ownership by giving you a wider range of choices for devices and network plans. Source

SIM Only plans also allow businesses to be more flexible, and allow them to switch companies and upgrade without needing to cancel long term contracts. It also bolsters the sense of ownership by giving employees charge over the choice of document management and computing systems used for formal operations.

A few years after its introduction, the Bring Your Own Device policy has morphed into many different variations, including Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone (BYOP) and Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC).

Given the enormous potential to enhance adaptability and flexibility of operations, 81% of companies presently deploy or intend to deploy BYOD policies.

The benefits of going BYOD

1. Flexibility: With BYOD plans, you can save 30% off your mobile phone contract within two years. That’s because the flexibility of the plan gives you greater control over the monthly cost of your mobile phone contracts.

2. Intrinsic motivation: When the choice of computing platform is completely left to the discretion of employees, it results in a boost in employee morale, the sense of ownership, and employee satisfaction, which will all in turn drive motivation.

3. State-of-the-art hardware and software inventories: With BYOD policies, employees can help businesses keep up with changes in enterprise technologies by bringing their newer devices to work.

4. Enhanced productivity: Employees often work more efficiently when making use of their own devices.

Alternatives to BYOD

According to a poll conducted by Syntronic, 75% of respondents expressed reservations about BYOD plans. If you also have your doubts about BYOD, here are three great alternatives that might suit your business’ needs better:

Corporate-Owned, Personally Enabled: Under this policy, a company hands out pre-approved hardware and software to employees for both work and personal use. By subjecting the devices to Mobile Device Management (MDM) or Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), companies can have control over sensitive data.

Direct-to-carrier stipends: With this policy, companies pass the cost of the devices down to the employees using a credit system that gives monthly credits to pay for phone bills based on the employees’ role.

Choose Your Own Device (CYOD): This policy brings together the best of both worlds of BYOD and COPE. With this policy, employees are directed to choose from a pre-approved selection of hardware and software, although the employees shoulder the cost.

The risks of BYOD

Some of the risks associated with BYOD are:

1. It doesn’t allow businesses to have complete control over access to sensitive data on personal devices.

2. The possibility of employees losing their devices further exposes companies using BYOD to data loss and data breach.

With BYOD, entry points might be opened to hackers and data breaches. Source

3. With many uncontrolled personal devices plugged into the network, hackers may easily find weaknesses and points of entry to attempt to gain access to the business’s sensitive data.

4. An employee can easily leave with sensitive company data stored on their personal devices.

5. The cost of integrating and supporting a vast array of employee devices on a central system.

6. There is also the risk of failing to implement the most appropriate BYOD policy, which might further increase the company’s expose to all the aforementioned risks.

Who should be thinking of a BYOD future?

There is an increasing tendency for employees to seek employment in environments that allow for greater mobility and flexibility of technological choices. Businesses across all levels should consider BYOD policies in order to maximise the value they can get from their phone company.

 

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.