Anyone connected to the business world has heard about the rampant popularity of bring-your-own-device policies, better known as BYOD. The trend will continue for the near future and likely beyond, with Gartner analysts claiming that 50 percent of companies will mandate a BYOD platform over the course of the next five years. The popularity and gains in morale aside, however, does a BYOD set of policies make sense to a company on a financial standpoint? In terms of dollars and cents, some businesses may get more out of BYOD than others.
Could a BYOD platform benefit the larger conglomerates more than the small, home-based businesses that employ so many independent workers? The answer may be no, but not necessarily due to the basic revenue-expenses flowchart on your bookkeeping. The risk to small companies with a BYOD system lies in the security or lack thereof. V3 made headlines by proclaiming that a small business with BYOD is one cyber-attack away from bringing the company down. A small company may not be able to afford training or security to keep a BYOD network afloat, resulting in a far higher risk of a data breach. When that happens, the savings of a few hundred dollars per employee becomes trivial: The average data breach costs a company no less than $6.75 million dollars and an average of over $200 per compromised customer, Poneman research reports.
The Muddled Middle
Medium-sized businesses may have the resources to put a comprehensive BYOD platform in place to allow for security and increased safety, yet few end up doing so. CSO Online estimates that between 60 percent and 80 percent of businesses have no formal BYOD policies in place whatsoever. Businesses with the luxuries of modest resources and relative flexibility must think long and hard about the dollar value of each employee under its company umbrella. The advantages of cost savings and increased productivity often win out, since a medium-sized business rarely has to hire more than a handful of new staff members to police BYOD or train employees. When a medium-sized company has had limited success with safety, however, it may find a BYOD platform to be an unpalatable risk.
When your company employs hundreds or even thousands of workers, the solution becomes quite simple: Go big or go home. The math firmly stands in the BYOD camp, with Cisco reporting that a basic BYOD platform generates $350 per employee per year, while comprehensive policy boosts that figure up to $1,300 per employee per year. Risks remain, of course, and risks become more expensive as the size of a company grows, but when the benefits start climbing in to the millions of dollars, a corporation with a large workforce would greatly limit their growth potential by restricting BYOD policy in favor of uniform devices. There are also platforms that allow BYOD devices to switch from personal to business mode, keeping the two areas separate.
Until next time,
Keith Hart, Guest Blogger for the All Access Group, LLC
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