Why you should embrace employees who bring their own IT to work


Date: 17 October 2011

The Timico research shows that over 50% of SMBs don't think BYOD is a positive development. Yet isn't it one of the easiest ways to give your staff access to the latest technology? This post would make the argument for BYOD - or even giving employees their own budget to spend as they wish.

Time was people would drive along in their company car talking on their company mobile phone. In those days the company car was provided to them by - their company of course. Tightening tax laws made it easier for a business to give an employee a car allowance and let that person go away and chose their own car.

Now the pressure is building when it comes to the choice of that mobile phone. Nothing to do with tax but everything to do with choice. Companies still prefer to provide their staff with BlackBerries and the old business stalwart the Nokia.

This leads to people carrying two mobile devices around. An iPhone or Android which they use for most communications and the company phone that is grudgingly kept in the other pocket or the dashboard because that is what their company expects them to use.

So what you might say. The problem lies in what staff do with their personal phones and that is “everything they do with their company phone and more”. They pick up email, access the corporate network and carry a contact database that potentially includes the company client list.

Called BYOD or Bring Your Own Device this is not being met with open enthusiasm by SMBs which sees it as a threat. A recent research report from mobile ISP Timico shows that 72% of SMBs were worried about the trend with security being at the top of their concerns (75%) followed by the risk of loss (55%). Cost was a concern to only 22% which you could either interpret as a large number or a relatively small one compared to the risks associated with loss of data.

The main issues centre around the lack of control companies have over personal telephones. With a BlackBerry they can manage security policies and even perform remote kill on devices. IT departments don’t have the same control over your iPhone.

One of the conclusions of the report was that as large majority (82%) of businesses would allow BYOD if they had access to a Mobile Device Management service that offered protection to company data held on an employee’s own device.

The opportunity here is to save money, enhance the security of your business data and enhance the working environment. By allowing BYOD you are offloading some or potentially all of the costs associated with the handset in a mobile contract and at the same time making your staff feel loved.

You can download a copy of the Mobile Working Report which is packed with useful data relevant to a small business.

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