The tide is starting to turn. Small and medium-sized businesses are increasingly in favor of supporting BYOD. It lowers costs, a key concern for these businesses. It also leverages leading-edge devices that employees already have in their hands, raising the business’s technology profile with very little investment.
Steve Woods, in a recent article in Technocrati, takes a fairly deep dive into the trends and common objections surrounding BYOD for small businesses. He also raises a concern that is seldom raised: if a company moves forward with BYOD but without creating BYOD policies, there could be problems down the road. A study by Information technology firm ITIC found that while over 60% of businesses allow some form of BYOD, only 30% of these companies have specific policies in place.
BYOD empowers SMBs to cut costs with some tweaks to policy. While creating a policy is important, so is assuaging the concerns of IT staff, who frequently object strongly to BYOD for a variety of reasons. Main among these are data security and not wanting to support a panoply of devices. Woods recommends meeting with IT staff to find out their objections and then address them one by one. Issues of data security can be managed by leveraging secured cloud storage and/or secured mobile applications, such as our Cypress app for iPad, with secured file storage.
If small businesses take time to address these concerns, they can discover benefits of having employees with mobile devices that they may not have considered before. An employee with a tablet – supported by the IT department – can extend a company’s business well outside the storefront. With a plan, proper training about the importance of protecting corporate data, and limits surrounding personal tech use during work hours, a company can reach new clients and interact with them in new ways. A business owner can send an employee with a mobile device to a client site and have a videoconference with that client, all while still minding the store.
The BYOD trend is here to stay, so SMBs should take advantage of the lowered cost and higher productivity benefits, supported by a policy that protects corporate data without hindering employees’ ability to perform their duties.
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