The digital revolution is here. There’s no avoiding it, and its impact on business has been profound.
Technology has literally changed the way we work—and even what tools we work with.
For example, many companies choose to purchase tablets, smartphones and laptops for their employees. Mobile tools give staff the ability to work from anywhere, which is incredibly convenient. But even if your SMB doesn’t provide these devices for your employees, there’s a good chance your folks are still using them.
Which is why you need a bring your own device (BYOD) policy.
BYOD policies give business leaders a way to protect company data and allow for convenience at the same time. Make no mistake—BYOD policies aren’t only for enterprise-level companies. There are several reasons even small business owners should have a BYOD policy.
Implementation of security protocols
This is perhaps the most important reason to have a BYOD policy.
If you’re running a company of any size, data breach is a legitimately serious concern. And those of you who are SMB owners should know that 61% of all data breaches actually target smaller businesses.
Unfortunately, a lot of security-minded SMB owners deal with that risk by forbidding any kind of BYOD work. In fact, 39% of businesses cite security concerns as their reason for not allowing BYOD.
But a well thought out BYOD policy actually gives you more control. You can show your staff you’re willing to work with them and ensure the security of every device on your business network. Including appropriate mobile device management in your policy can even guarantee that all connected devices stay up-to-date.
That’s a cybersecurity win.
Written policies can dictate training
Another reason your SMB could benefit from a BYOD policy is related to training parameters. If you allow employees to access secure data (even email) via personal devices, there’s always the chance one of those devices will fall into the wrong hands.
And, of course, there’s also the risk of data breach via an insecure or malicious app.
Fortunately, you can greatly lower BYOD risks through proper policies and thorough training. Make sure your employees know the rules for accessing company information through their own devices. On top of that, provide some basic training about device management and smart app choices.
BYOD is happening anyway
If after reading the last two sections you find yourself thinking, “Well, that sounds like a lot of work. I think I’ll just avoid BYOD,” think again.
A recent survey found that 45% of employees use their own devices without their employer’s knowledge. You can tell your people to pocket their smartphones at the office, but it takes a lot of work to actually enforce such a policy. And if you’re going to have to work to enforce a policy, why not put that effort toward policies that enable your staff to get more done?
Most of the time, BYOD is happening whether you want it to or not.
That simple fact is likely why 73% of employers already allow workers to connect devices to their business networks. By having a BYOD policy in place, you have more overall control of an activity that’s taking place regardless of your current organizational rules.
SMBs need to save money
Recent studies have found that businesses can save over $3,000 per employee every year by implementing a BYOD program. If you’re like the average SMB owner, saving money is always on the agenda.
As long as the company has a strong data loss prevention strategy in place, BYOD policies can result in more money staying within the company. You don’t have to shell out company funds to purchase devices for employees, you’re not covering the cost of their data plans, and you get the benefit of increased productivity and improved employee responsiveness.
All of that adds up to increased revenue.
While there are legitimate concerns about letting employees use their own devices in the workplace, an effective BYOD policy can make the whole thing manageable.
With the proper mobile device management and organizational rules in place, even small business owners can start taking advantage of the benefits of BYOD policies.