In an age where more powerful devices are increasing in popularity and decreasing in cost, it should come as no surprise that employees are excited about the possibility of using their personal tablets, phones and computers in the workplace.
This trend, known as bring your own device (BYOD), is becoming more popular every year - a 2015 survey by Tech Pro Research found that nearly three out of four businesses already allow or plan on allowing employees to use their own hardware at work.
With the trend sweeping workplaces across the globe, it is time for small business owners to consider whether or not to implement a BYOD policy at their organisation.
One of the most immediately evident benefits of a BYOD policy is the savings it could lead to. After all, if employees are supplying their own hardware, businesses don't need to set aside funds for procuring that equipment. According to Sensis' eBusiness Report, Australian small and medium businesses spent an average of $4,800 on hardware in 2015. This is just slightly less than software expenditure, $5,000.
Australian small and medium businesses spent an average of $4,800 on hardware in 2015
There are several different approaches to funding a BYOD program, including providing a stipend or requiring employees to pay for their device. This might seem like something workers would oppose, but many are on board. According to a Good Technology report, half of surveyed organisations shift the costs of BYOD to employees - and those employees don't mind. It's easy to understand why - they get to choose and use the latest technology.
With a BYOD policy in place, companies are also likely to see an increase in productivity - if employees have their computer with them, no matter where they are, they have access to the tools needed to get work done remotely. This allows them a greater degree of flexibility, and can revolutionise formerly unproductive times in the day, like the morning bus or train ride. BYOD can also be a morale booster, as employees have more control over their devices - from superficial settings like desktop and wallpaper to more consequential areas like which programs to use.
While BYOD may seem like some kind of wonder strategy, there are some concerns that should give small business owners pause before jumping to implement it. While it does eliminate or lower the cost of hardware acquisition, it can lead to unexpected costs in making sure that all devices are up to standard and can work with a business' established network. That can be exacerbated by employees' personal choice in devices, especially if they choose different brands and operating systems.
A more pressing concern, however, is the security risk involved. Before BYOD, businesses had the luxury of maintaining a closed network and keeping proprietary information where it belonged. If employees are able to carry their work devices with them, the risk of a data breach becomes much more likely. If an employee loses his or her tablet, for example, company information is at risk.
A strong BYOD policy, on the other hand, can help mitigate these risks and make an implementation much smoother.
Small business owners must consider their situation to determine if BYOD is worthwhile.
The bottom line
There is no one right strategy when it comes to the question of BYOD. At the end of the day, business owners must consider their unique situation and determine if BYOD is worthwhile.
Whether adopting BYOD or using company-provided hardware, businesses must be prepared to invest the necessary costs into their IT needs.
This is where the importance of small business cash flow comes into play. For more information about how debtor finance services can help your organisation, contact us today on 1300 760 205.
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].