BYOD: Can A Bring Your Own Device Program Work With Your Company?
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BYOD: Can A Bring Your Own Device Program Work With Your Company?

By Jennifer Warren July 20, 2022

Categories: Device Mobility IT Insights Technology

BYOD. It’s been said so often, it’s practically a buzzword. Smart phones might not be new, the way companies approach them is developing in interesting ways. One influence affecting the way companies handle BYOD is changing labor laws. Many states, including California and Illinois, require companies to reimburse employees for the business use of their personal assets. Those include anything from phones and computers to vehicles to home assets. While there are plenty of ways to manage company mobility, BYOD is on the rise. 

Device Management Program Options 

When it comes to device programs, companies have three main options to consider. 

  1. Corporate-Provided Device (CPD) – The company provides its employees with a phone for business. 
  1. Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) – The company provides its employees with a small selection of business phones they can choose from.  
  1. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – The company reimburses employees for the business use of their personal phone. 

What is BYOD?

BYOD or ‘Bring your own device is a mobile device management program. In a BYOD program employers reimburse employees for the business use of their personal devices. This has serious implications on how a company implements and runs its device program. 

BYOD Guide

How is BYOD different from CPD/CYOD

The differences between Corporate-Provided Device (CPD) and Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) programs are big ones. With CPD and CYOD employers choose the devices their employees use. That practically guarantees they’ll be carrying two phones. Along with the convenience of only carrying one phone, the difference between BYOD and other mobile device management programs is the reimbursement component. 

As CPD and CYOD are business assets the company gives its employees, they do not require reimbursement. With BYOD, companies must reimburse for the business portion of an employee’s device use. 

What are the advantages of BYOD?

There’s a reason that BYOD is gaining traction throughout the business world. Its value to companies can be attributed to two main elements: scalability and mobility. Let’s dive into how those translate to benefits for a business. 

Scalability

Whether a company is kicking off a new mobility program or switching over from an old one, onboarding is a pain point. It takes time to transition employees from their previous devices to new ones. Practically everyone already has a phone. With a BYOD program, you won’t need to supply them with their device. No more sorting through the process of ordering multiples of the same phone. No more learning new operating systems. With BYOD, that’s no longer an issue. Employees have their personal device, the phone they’re comfortable with.

A strong BYOD program can also easily download and update the necessary apps and business systems an employee needs to function in their role. Using a Mobile Device Management system, companies ensure the BYOD program integrates with their business systems.

Finally, BYOD empowers employees to use their personal device for business. No more carrying two phones, or, as mentioned before, learning new operating systems. Employees work with the phone they’re comfortable with.

Mobility

Employees don’t want the hassle of carrying two phones or learning new systems. They want the flexibility of working with the phone they have and receiving compensation for that usage. The benefits of this program outstrip typical MMS programs in the recruiting and retention department.

Ultimately, it’s their phone. If they want to get a new one or prefer to stick with their old one, that’s all in their power. And choice goes a long way when it comes to employee satisfaction.

What are the disadvantages of BYOD?

A BYOD program isn’t without its disadvantages. Bear in mind, the quality of a program and the challenges a company faces with it depend a lot on the administration of the policy. With the right vendor, programs can be protected from disadvantages. Those disadvantages include legal compliance, tax implications and security. 

Legal Compliance  

Without guidance on their BYOD program, companies risk reimbursing inaccurately. Many states laws and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) are in place to prevent employers from benefitting from employee-owned assets used for business growth and productivity. Keeping up with the changing laws and regulations without overpaying can be difficult.  

Tax Implications 

Reimbursements usually work in one of two ways: either employers provide a flat stipend or employees submit expense reports. Both options expose companies to tax repercussions.

Flat stipends may be easy, but they’re typically taxed. This ultimately costs companies more and pays employees less. On the other hand, submitting device costs and phone bills through expense reporting is intended to avoid tax implications. However, this method comes with high administrative burden and often overpays employees.

Security

With company provided devices, companies control what is going on that smartphone, from apps to security measures. Employers are concerned about losing that control with BYOD programs. Without policy enforcement controls, limited clarity on desired employee behavior and enforcement result in added cost, administrative burden and security concerns.  

Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions work to protect sensitive corporate data, even on personal devices. Managing an MDM in house, on top of every other part of the program, may prove an intimidating burden to an IT team already stretched thin.  

What should your company do?

Whether you need a mobile device management program in the next few days or in a few months, it helps to be educated. With the right vendor, your company can enjoy all the benefits of BYOD and dispel the disadvantages. The success of a BYOD program hinges on the strength of its policy and the expertise of its administration. Interested in seeing a BYOD program? Request a demonstration of our device product.

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