Just because something is popular doesn’t make it good. Just look at Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, or Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend, or Kim Kardashian’s boyfriend’s soon to be born baby… you get the point. The same is true for the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend that is presently on the rise. There’s tons of buzz about how implementing a BYOD policy, particularly for small businesses can make for smiley employees, increased productivity and reduction in overall IT costs (see: The Inescapable Rise of BYOD – Infographic). But what about the risks? How can SMEs know if giving their teams BYOD privileges will create joy or spark a mutiny?
In 2012 Fiberlink, the recognized leader in cloud solutions for secure enterprise mobile device and application management, commissioned Harris to complete a survey exploring employee attitudes and concerns about a BOYD workplace. Business users were found to be “overwhelmingly concerned and would not allow employers to have this access into their personal lives.” Overall employees had worried about employers tracking their movement, viewing applications, being located outside of work hours, tracking of browsing history and unauthorized deletion of personal files including pics, music and profiles. To see an infographic of the survey results click here.
Looking at to company management of BYOD, it becomes clear that the risk of skyrocketing costs and security blunders is as vast and unending as Kim Kardashian’s…oh, I don’t know; butt, bank account, ego? Hmm. Ah, yes, Stupidity. The risk of high costs and security breaches are as vast and unending as Kim Kardashian’s stupidity. Let’s move on.
According to a survey of 100 IT directors completed by Damovo UK, 73% worried that BYOD could cause IT costs to, you know, Kardashian. You see, 69% of were not convinced BYOD would reduce support costs and anticipated that employees would eat up valuable desk side support resources bringing device issues to IT rather than their service provider.
If employees are concerned about their employer viewing or deleting content from their device, they should be. From an employer’s perspective, acquiring the up-to-date licenses – in addition to implementing and configuring an appropriate mobile device management processes – could turn in to managerial and logistical hullabaloo. If we go back to the Damovo survey we see that one third of the organizations surveyed have yet to implement guidelines and expectations for their Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) meaning many have failed to look before they leap.
Although some employees may prefer the speed, agility and consolidation of activities that comes with using their own device, BYOD can also create issues among workers that seriously affect morale and productivity. Even when salaries are competitive and equitable, some employees simply have more money than others. Some are single with debt while others may be married to “you know who” (for ten minutes). This disparity in income means some will have high-end devices while others are in the mid to low-range, meaning some folks can work quickly and with fewer device issues while others are tripped up on slower, poor performing devices. Is it fair that Jim outperforms Bob because he had a better device? Teams who are equipped with uniform systems and devices keeps performance outcomes where they should be-in the creativity and talents of the staff not their hardware.
Businesses must weigh the benefits and costs of rolling out a BYOD policy that comprehensively outlines the time, money and man hours required to create everything from comprehensive guidelines and best practices to limitations around tech-support and responding to security breach. After careful consideration, SMEs may find BYOD a bit too much like a Kardashian-more trouble than it’s worth.