With the advent of the smartphone and tablets, people now have access to mobile devices which are effectively portable computers. As a result, a lot of businesses have employees who come in with their own personal device. Today’s personal devices are engineered for simplicity on the user end. User-friendly interfaces mean that more employees are finding innovative ways to put personal devices to work — whether IT allows it or not.
Letting your employees use personal devices at work does more than let them use Facebook during lunch breaks. The benefits are:
• Faster communication and more efficient mobile employees through the internal use of personal devices
• Increased consumer relationship building and the ability to shape customer perceptions of your company with consumer tools, especially social networking
• Mobile devices as an HR tool: Younger employees rely on their smartphones and other devices, so refusing to allow use of personal devices will make it difficult to attract and retain fresh talent
• The self-supporting nature of using their own devices actually decreases the burden on your IT department and increase IT productivity
On the other hand, giving an employee access to company emails and information on their personal device does raise some security concerns. Due to the lack of a unified device platform and the non-existence of regulated mobile security standards, a diverse range of devices in the workplace can be difficult to manage at best, and can sometimes pose a high risk for employers.
• Security is one of the biggest and most significant challenges. With multiple employees using multiple devices, it’s difficult to meet both compliance and security standards, particularly for companies in industries that must adhere to certain security measures. There is also the risk of employee devices containing sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
• In any workplace there may be little control over the way employees use personal devices at work.
• Performance and productivity may see a drop with some employees. This can be for several reasons; Larger workplaces are unable to monitor all employees and restrict the use of personal devices and the addition of multiple personal devices to the business network can strain resources
• Data retrieval can pose a risk when employees leave the company, taking all of the data on their devices with them. While you can stop them from accessing further emails or data.