Will a bring your own device program work with your company?
BYOD. It’s been said so often, it’s practically a buzzword. A lot has changed since the days of desk phones and, well, typewriters. And, while cell phones aren’t exactly new, the way companies approach them is developing in interesting ways. One influencer 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 to computers to vehicles.
While there are plenty of mobile expense options, this one is all about BYOD.
What is BYOD?
BYOD stands for ‘Bring your own device.” Bring your own device is a mobile device management program where employers reimburse employees for the business use of their personal devices.
How is BYOD different from CPD/CYOD
The difference is pretty big. 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 don’t need to reimburse. With BYOD, companies only need to reimburse for the business portion of a device’s use.
What are the advantages of BYOD?
Practically everyone 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. And your employee won’t be juggling two phones, trying to figure out how the phone works if it’s different from what they own.
On a similar line, employees won’t be frustrated with the phone you stuck them with. 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.
You aren’t paying for cellphones – especially ones that sit unused in a desk drawer. You aren’t working out carrier packages or monitoring data plans. You’re simply reimbursing employees for the business use of their personal device. There are a few ways to go about this. Some companies pay for the entire phone bill. Some companies only pay for a portion of it. While certain methods may be easier to reason than others, the right reimbursement approach should protect you from labor law litigation.
Additionally, with a BYOD program your company won’t need to staff additional IT department members. That doesn’t mean you won’t need some personnel aiding in the installation of security measures on individual devices. The safe approach is the best approach, and that means securing all devices that handle company material. But you won’t need people ordering phones, preparing them for use, distributing them and recollecting them.
What are the disadvantages of BYOD?
When your company provides the device, you control what is going on that device, from apps to security measures. With a BYOD program, you do not have that control. That doesn’t mean you can’t still enforce security measures. Two-factor authentication isn’t difficult to set up, and if it’s a personal device, employees are more likely to care about how secure the information on it is. But you need to be proactive. One phone without proper security is a major flaw in your defenses.
Without guidance on their BYOD program, companies risk giving too little. And it’s hard to give enough when you don’t know what you should be providing. Think about it from the perspective of an employee who works from home. When they’re working, they’re not just using their phone. They’re also using their internet service, space in their home and more. When a company provides a reimbursement, it should cover all asset usage, not the bare minimum.
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 on all your options. BYOD is just one, as are CPD, CYOD and COPE. Check out our content on mobile service management to better understand each solution and which can help your company and employees find the right balance.