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To BYOD or to CYOD? What Strategy Suits my Small Business?

It’s no secret that digital continuity and working from home flexibility are continuing to rise in the list of priorities of businesses both big and small. Now, more organizations today are beginning to recognize the importance of implementing a workplace device policy that allows you to bring your own device (BYOD) or choose your own device (CYOD) at work. Setting aside the huge boost in efficiency and productivity that BYOD and CYOD policies bring to their companies, there are plenty of other benefits that businesses across all industries can get from both strategies. But what policy is right for your company? Let’s look at some of them and decide.

What are BYOD and CYOD Policies?

With a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in place, employees use their own devices, such as personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops, to connect to the company network, access business data and applications, and perform work-related tasks.

A choose your own device (CYOD) policy, on the other hand, allows your team to choose from a list of devices that you have approved for use in your company. While not everyone may like or have a lot of familiarity with the selection of available devices you’ve chosen, your team will appreciate getting to have a say on what computer or mobile device they’ll be using for work. If you want, you can also offer employees the option to buy the device from the company as well so they can get part of the flexibility that comes with the bring your own device policy.

BYOD: The Simple and Effective Work from Home Solution for Your Small Business

Since your staff already knows how to use these devices, there’s no learning curve that comes along with using any new technology. That means higher efficiency and higher productivity since you and your employees can get right to work, as well as better employee experience. No slogging through technology crash courses or other time-consuming lectures that come with new devices? Talk about a win.

Bring your own device policies also give employees more flexibility since they can work anywhere, anytime. This makes it the perfect solution for companies that run on a hybrid schedule or have multiple employees that are traveling for business. Since they are using their own devices, your team doesn’t have to be stuck in a cubicle to finish tasks and other projects. Instead, they can use their smartphones to stay on top of emails and their laptops to finish presentations even when they’re on the go or working from home.

Aside from gaining employee productivity and flexibility, you can reduce expenses related to owning computers and mobile devices, including small business IT maintenance and upgrades. That means as a business owner, you can benefit from a BYOD policy, too, by saving lots of money that can then be put toward investments to improving your company’s bottom line.

Security Risks with BYOD

Since these are your employees’ personal devices, there’s a big risk that comes with them having access of any level on their phones, laptops, or tablets. If their devices get stolen, for instance, there’s a chance that your company’s information can fall into the wrong hands. Additionally, not all personal devices may be properly equipped with software that can handle viruses, malware, or other forms of hacking—leaving your information exposed.

If you’re considering implementing a BYOD policy in your company, you should also talk to a small business IT consultant about creating workplace device security regulations that will ensure your company’s viable information is well protected. This document should outline the following points:

  • The applications and data that employees can access from their personal devices:

This will help ensure that your team is staying on task while at work, which will also help them make the best use of their time. After all, bring your own device policies can increase productivity at work but only when applied correctly.

  • The minimum-security control requirements for employee-owned devices:

An example of this would be using a two-step authentication system to log into personal accounts on work applications that your employees use to access their work emails, projects, and other important documents. This makes sure that your team and your team only have access to any sensitive information that your company might handle and keeps it from getting into the wrong hands.

  • A backup solution in case of a data emergency or employee resignation:

In addition to choosing what sort of mobile device management solutions will be needed to allow your IT staff to access data from their own devices, a small business IT consultant can also help you with remotely wiping lost or stolen devices from company data.

This is especially useful for a few reasons. For one, giving your IT manager access to company data can allow them to troubleshoot tech problems with your employees even when they’re not in the office; but it can also help keep your data private by removing it from an employee’s devices after they have stopped working for your company. And if a data breach occurs, you are going to want help from your IT manager on stopping the spread of a tech virus from getting onto your employees’ personal devices.

Therefore, if you’re looking for an IT solution that is quick to install, gives your company’s employees lots of flexibility, and keeps you on budget, opt for a BYOD policy. But let’s say that you are a larger company that handles a great amount of private or personal information but still wants to receive the benefits of digital continuity in the workplace. Then, the next option might be the right one for you.

CYOD: More Control and Tighter Security Work from Home Solutions for Your Growing Small Business

As a business owner, the biggest advantage of having a choose your own device policy is the level of security it brings. Before the devices are even in the hands of your team members, you can work with a business IT consultant to equip devices with security features to ensure that sensitive data is properly protected and monitored. However, since you own the devices, all these security and optimization installments, including their costs, will be your responsibility. That’s why this may not be the most ideal solution for smaller businesses or those with tight budgets.

And, since you are getting to choose the devices for your employees, you have much more control over the devices that your employees will be using. This is great for a couple of reasons. For starters, you can share information much more easily if all your employees are using the same brand of device. All tech companies have their own cloud they use to store data but shifting between these different data clouds, like you would be doing with a BYOD policy, can be tricky. Formatting can change on presentations, items will be stored differently, and different devices require their own specific maintenance needs. A CYOD policy allows you to eliminate these issues that could otherwise bog down a larger company.

In general, larger or growing businesses tend to work better with a choose your own device policy than a BYOD policy since more people mean more devices. Making sure there’s a streamlined sense of digital continuity between you and your growing network of employees will help to keep communication clear between co-workers and supervisors alike, as well as organizing and managing their chosen tasks. So, if you are planning on expanding your company now or in the near future, it may be wise to opt for a choose your own device policy instead.

ETS: The Ultimate Tech Solution for Your Small Business

With so many great benefits to choose from, deciding between a BYOD or CYOD policy can be tricky for any business owner. Our advice over here at Elemental Technology Solutions? Ask yourself “which program is best suited to the needs of my business?” This is the question that all our small business IT consultants use when helping you manage your company’s technology solutions. Whether it’s starting a Device as a Service program to build up a bring/choose your own device policy or something bigger like moving your website to a new server, ETS is here to offer you straightforward IT solutions that are tailored to your business. See for yourself how managing your business’s IT can be by contacting our team for a consultation today.