#BYODtips Part 3:What Is Holding BYOD Back?

For this third installment of our #BYODtips Bring Your Own Device and Group Collaboration series, we will focus on some of the potential drawbacks of BYOD. Our previous post discussed the reasons companies may WANT to take advantage of the BYOD trend.

Bring Your Own Device can create some problems for IT departments or outsourced IT providers.  Here are some of the concerns and limitations:

1. Policies: When using BYOD programs, organizations often lose much of the control over the IT hardware and how it is used.  Typically companies or IT providers have an acceptable use and privacy policies where the users are protected by security that is managed and updated by the company-issued IT department.  However, it becomes harder to tell an employee what is acceptable use and what is not acceptable use of their personal laptop or smartphone.  Companies must make sure they have clearly defined policies for BYOD to help clearly define the difference between personal and company use of one’s device.

According to a study conducted by Osterman Research, 15% of employees believe they have “none to minimal” responsibility to protect corporate data stored on their personal devices.  The study reported another staggering statistic – 10% of respondents did not have a password, PIN or other security measure enabled on the mobile device they use for work purposes.  This is another potential security problem waiting to happen.  This study also found that only 44% of participants are very aware of their mobile security and think about their responsibility to protect their employers’ information on a daily basis.  Almost 10% of participants think about their security responsibility only a few times per year.  This survey was completed with more than 500 participants of North American enterprise organizations with more than 1,000 employees – showing that even employees of large multinational corporations that are consistently warned of security issues from their IT departments or IT providers are not keeping security in their minds as something that is important to their employers or themselves.

What does this mean for companies? Lack of secure data- which is one of the most concerning issues in this BYOD situation.

2. Time and Resources: Part of the problem for IT departments or IT companies lies with time management.  If all of the devices being used or on a network are the same and the IT provider has control over their use, they can support them more easily with minimal time and effort.  Connectivity between devices can be a large and important problem, especially when introducing different devices.  Software provisioning, device troubleshooting and data security can be problems when IT companies are working with hardware that may not be well-known to them.  Some IT companies will even perform periodic audits on personal devices to ensure that the device is in compliance with the company’s BYOD security policy.

BYOD programs must be checked often and managed properly. If not, employees can take advantage of the employer by expensing things like family plans, phone upgrades, termination fees and expensive data plans. Some IT leaders and IT professionals are not confident that their organization’s BYOD policy is compliant with data and privacy protection acts which contain requirements related to information security and safeguarding specific data. Even if the device(s) are not provided by the company, these rules must still be followed. It is important to note that failure to comply with federal regulations can result in severe consequences – fines, probation periods and criminal penalties. While productivity is generally increased due to BYOD allowing employees to work in the evening and on the weekends, some workers may use their personal devices for personal reasons, resulting in a lack of productivity. Another hidden problem Bring Your Own Device can introduce is with the leg-work involved in creating expense reports to pay or reimburse employees, especially when it comes to mobile devices. While BYOD can generally promote saving costs, some employees will be unwilling to invest their own money into devices and may expect the organization to pay for these new devices. For hourly employees, Bring Your Own Device can blur the line between work like and personal life. How can a company track overtime for answering work-related calls or emails during off-hours?

3. Equipment Loss or Replacement: Another hidden cost and hidden security risk has to do with loss of equipment and theft. Companies have a way to combat this problem by completely wiping the device remotely. However, this failsafe cannot be used without the employee notifying IT or their manager. What could happen to a device that is stolen or found by someone who is not the owner? Many employees will not report the device as lost or stolen right away, instead exhausting every other resource possible looking for the device, only to report it as lost or stolen at a later date. In the meantime, while the device is lost, the corporate and possibly confidential data stored on the device could have been or could become compromised. Also along these lines, some employees would rather keep knowledge of the loss or theft of a device from their manager.

Revolabs’ FLX UC product line is aimed at providing innovative solutions for BYOD conference rooms and devices, while minimizing the negatives associated with BYOD.  Does your organization feel that the benefits outweigh the negatives and challenges when it comes to BYOD? Many Innovative companies believe this to be true. Comment below and tell us your thoughts about BYOD.

#BYODtips Part 1 – ‘Bring Your Own Device’ is Changing How Companies Do Business

#BYODtips Part 2 – The Three C's of BYOD (And More)

#BYODtips Part 3 – What is Holding BYOD Back?

Contributed by Jacob Brady.

Questions? We’d love to help