The concept of BYOD (bring you own device) is becoming increasingly popular, along with business integration of social media. One of the driving factors of this popularity is economic. Many businesses are finding they can save money by having their employees use their own smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other devices, rather than relying on the business to buy and support its own devices. Businesses are weighing the benefits and risks of implementing their own BYOD and social media policies for their employees.
It’s not only small businesses doing this. Midsize to large businesses, all the way up to major corporations are considering the implementation of BYOD and social media. They are looking at the numbers and deciding what the most efficient path is to take. Do BYOD, the consumerization of the workplace, and social media have value in our business? Will it be beneficial to us in any meaningful way? Or are the risks to high?
Risks of BYOD and Social Media and Ways to Avoid Them
One of the most common concerns businesses have with BYOD and social media is security. How secure is our data when accessed by a range of devices brought in by employees? In business environments where security concerns have been poorly (or not) expressed to employees, the threat of losing or sharing confidential or business critical information can be high.
This concern extends to the use of social media as well. What is the company sharing, who’s sharing it, who’s consuming it, and how secure is it? These pertinent questions need to be asked and answered as soon as possible. Knowing your social media solutions are secure and reliable will allow your business to get the most out of the social media experience and successfully connect with customers or clients.
Then there’s the issue of dealing with a wide range of devices. Employees would be using a variety of smartphones and laptops with different specs and operating systems possibly creating a compatibility problem with a company’s network, their security protocols, and cloud accessibility. With newer technology, incompatibility is become less of an issue, but it can create a headache for the company’s IT department.
The simplest way to reduce incompatibility issues is to develop a list of approved devices. It may limit employee options in terms of what they may already own, but it offers guard against incompatibility that could end up reducing productivity. Additionally, employees could be required to register their devices with the company to allow for greater accountability in both matters of security and compatibility.
Getting the Most Out of BYOD and Social Media
Saving money is one of the most prominent and immediate benefits of BYOD. For one, businesses can save money on training when employees use their own devices. Most—if not all—individuals who use their own devices in at work are likely to be familiar with the operation of both the hardware and software. As such, there is theoretically zero cost for training programs in the use of a required device. This may change, of course, if a firm uses specialized or proprietary software not widely available.
Secondly, the cost of device is deferred to the employee. If an employee already owns the device, the business has no need to invest in a new device for that employee. Multiply that by the remainder of the employees and the savings can become immense.
For social media, a business can save on the creation of a dedicate webpage for a product or service, or support for a product or service, by instead turning to a social media website. Businesses are finding huge success by communicating with customers and clients over social media as these customers, especially of the younger generations, are finding it more personal and attuned to their needs and lifestyles.
Kaito Mori is a father of three rambunctious children that are constantly testing his ability to keep their home computer safe and secure amongst the plethora of uses it is subjected to each day. When not being the raddest dad alive, Kaito also works with Trend Micro in an effort to keep other family’s online adventures as safe as his.