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May 9, 2022

By Chloe Myers

Corporate Versus Employee-Owned Devices – Is BYOD Worth It?

 

Organizations typically default to one of two options when considering employees’ mobile devices: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) versus a Corporate-Owned Device (COD). The names say it all — will employees be using their personal mobile devices for work purposes or will the company supply a separate device for office use? Let’s explore the different considerations when choosing the best program for your business.

When a COD program is discussed, it cannot be ignored that there is a significant cost out of the gate. Buying new smartphones every few years – the rate of which depends on your organization's needs – will cost much more than leaving the purchase up to your employees. Yet, businesses should also look at the opportunity cost  — while COD incurs a higher upfront monetary payment, BYOD can cost an organization in other ways, such as data leaks and security breaches.

Critics of BYOD programs cite logistical roadblocks and data security risks as the downsides of choosing this model for your company. From a logistics standpoint, BYOD results in a lack of uniformity in devices – leading to possible compatibility issues with company software. Employees may face difficulty installing programs or even be completely unable to download the programs if their device is too old. When these situations almost inevitably present themselves, different directives, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and information packets must be administered for every type of device used within the company. Legal issues can also arise when employees are not familiarized with device-usage policies. Here, we can see how BYOD will cost your organization time and manpower to implement these programs, on top of the associated financial burdens.

Additionally, employee-owned mobile devices may present increased distraction in the workplace, and an increased risk of theft outside of the workplace. There are also data security issues with BYOD programs that must be confronted. While many perceive malware and hacking to be the main cause of data security breaches, they only account for 25% overall. Over 40% of data security breaches are a result of lost phones – something that becomes more likely with employee-owned devices, as people are more likely to take their personal phone with them to non-work related events than their corporate phone.

In these situations, problems arise when trying to resolve a threat to cybersecurity. One example is that data retrieval becomes difficult in case of an emergency. Even if a company is able to recover or wipe the necessary data, valuable personal information is at risk for the employee. Too many horror stories can be told of employees losing irreplaceable photos, messages, and memories from their personal devices after an unexpected data removal from their employer; the cost of which is incalculable. The mélange of personal and professional data can put both parties at risk if the proper preventative programs are not in place.

Both BYOD and COD programs often lean on certain directives to remain successful: Enterprise Mobility Management (a set of policies, technologies, and processes that secure and manage all mobile devices within an organization), Mobile Device Management (a third-party security software that allows IT departments to manage, monitor, and secure any mobile device, like a smartphone, tablet, and laptop), and Mobile Application Management (software and services that control access to internal and commercial applications used for work purposes) are some of the most common examples of threat mitigation softwares. Even with these programs, however, BYOD still presents complications. Unlike corporate-owned devices, the employees own the property, which may impede the implementation of company-wide management software.

There are many different aspects of the two programs that companies must consider before deciding which to implement for their associates. Whether you choose BYOD or COD for your employees, IT asset costs and data security concerns are relevant in the disposal of your devices, too, not just the procurement. Recycling your devices through a trusted mobile buyback program means money back into your organization’s mobility budget and eliminates the threat of company and employee data getting into the wrong hands.

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e-Cycle is the trusted wireless partner for many of the largest organizations in the world. As the first mobile recycling company to achieve e-Stewards certification, we adhere to the highest standards for environmental responsibility and worker health and safety. e-Cycle offers a simple, secure, environmentally responsible and profitable way for businesses to sell and recycle used mobile phones and tablets. Learn more at www.e-Cycle.com.

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