Does your organization allow employees to use their personal electronic devices for work? As a virtual organization with all staff working from home, Idealware not only allows BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), but in many cases requires it. Employees provide their own computers and a way to make and receive phone calls, whether that’s a mobile phone, landline, or softphone computer app. This makes it easier to transition staff in or out since we don’t have to worry about provisioning and shipping devices, or storing unused devices in someone’s home.
But there are some challenges with employee-owned devices. For example, this week I discovered that two staff have outdated versions of Microsoft Office. Who is responsible for purchasing the new version? If it’s the employee, then what authority do I have to force them to make the upgrade at a specific time, on their own dime? Our policy isn’t specific on that. And if the employee owns a nonprofit license obtained through TechSoup, can he keep using it after he leaves our employment? On the other hand, if Idealware purchases the license, then do we need to make sure it is uninstalled and possibly transferred to the next employee when there’s staff turnover?
As you can see, when it comes to BYOD policies, the devil is in the details.
When considering BYOD, every organization needs to find their balance between control and personal choice, risk and flexibility. And with employee-owned devices, it’s important also to figure out equitable sharing of the costs of ownership including maintenance and upgrades. Our new article on BYOD explores the pros and cons of the practice, and asks the experts for advice and additional resources for developing a policy that works for your organization.