Bring Your Own Device or BYOD, as it is often called, can at best be described as a policy followed by a business wherein employees are encouraged to bring their own devices to the workplace. Effectively, this means that the employees can access their work email and the company database on their personal devices. At the most basic level, BYOD has two benefits – it can reduce company costs to a large extent and it can enable workers to work from their homes or when they are travelling. This has led to a lot of companies working on their customized BYOD policy, weighing in the concerns that they might have with regard to security and privacy of the company data.
Most young companies and startups, however, rely completely on their interns and employees to bring their own device in order to cut down on their costs. Huge corporations that want to rake in the benefits of BYOD but also want to control what their employees access on their personal devices can provide customized pre-installed (with certain restrictions) devices to their employees. This does not reduce costs but the company can still benefit as employees can access their email and other work related files from remote locations. Here are certain advantages of BYOD that make it worthwhile:
1) Cost Savings – As mentioned earlier, this is the obvious benefit arising from BYOD. Here, it is important to note that a business’ BYOD policy might be of two types. It can either allow employees to use their personal devices for work purposes. In this case, there is a clear cost saving as there are no hardware costs. Also, since employees are the owners of the devices, the company need not bother with repair and replacement costs either. The other type is where employees are given devices by the company which they can use for both work and personal purposes. Here, there is no explicit cost advantage; however, since the employees can still do their work from anywhere, it results in implicit savings.
2) Higher Productivity – Imagine a scenario where employees in a company are required to use devices that the company provides them. Now these devices may be using customized software, which may not be familiar to the employees. It will take some time and effort for them to be able to work efficiently using these devices. In contrast, imagine a situation where the employees are free to use their personal devices at work. They are already in love with their devices and no time is wasted in getting used to the hardware and software. This leads to higher productivity for the business as a whole. No more cribbing from employees about the operating system that they are forced to use. No more Apple v/s Windows v/s Android fights in the office. Everyone gets to use their preferred OS. Moreover, the management need not waste any money in trying to procure and distribute customized devices.
3) More Flexibility – Another important advantage of BYOD is that it offers a lot of flexibility to the employees. They are saved from the trouble of carrying two or more devices – one for business use and one for personal use. They can do their work from anywhere. With cloud computing gaining currency, the fact that employees can start their work at office and continue working at home assumes enormous significance. Often, this enables them to spend some quality time with their family. Also, as compared to using a company device, where employees need to follow a lot of rules while using, BYOD provides freedom to the employees, which is much needed in present day working environment. This implies happier and more satisfied workers. In fact, some surveys have shown that having a BYOD policy increases chances of a worker choosing to work in your company than in a company which doesn’t have one.
4) Benefits in eLearning – Lastly, the application of BYOD is not limited to the business environment. Implementing BYOD in schools and other learning modules has a lot of advantages too. Considering the fact that this generation has literally grown up on spending time on technology, what BYOD does is get students more interested in school lessons. BYOD encourages students to be more engaged. They can ask counter questions to teachers right away – we all know how Google friendly today’s children are. This can force teachers to completely remodel the way education is imparted in the world. Since the students have these devices at their disposal the whole day, enabling them to bring the devices to school ensures that their learning process never comes to an end as they will need to do their homework and project work on the same devices on which they play their favourite games – thus leading to more time spent on learning as opposed to just games earlier.