August 28, 2012, 11:53 AM —
There’s been lots of chatter lately about the pros and cons of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but most of the analysis is done from the employer's perspective. But let’s not forget that it takes two to tango (so I’m told; I don’t dance). Employees are also involved in the BYOD equation, but not a lot has been written about the pros and cons from the BYODer’s point of view.
There are some obvious benefits to the worker getting to use his or her own device at work, particularly flexibility and convenience. Employees can choose the device (do you prefer iPhone or Android? Windows Phone or BlackBerry) and don’t have to be saddled with multiple devices (who wants to carry around two smartphones?). But it’s not all wine, roses and Twinkies; there are some potential gotchas that you BYODers should be aware of, if you aren’t already.
I’ve experienced some of the drawbacks to BYOD from the employee's point-of-view first hand, but, in order to get a deeper understanding of the issues, I spoke with Kevin Baranowski Director of Sales for Align, a global IT solutions firm. In addition to the benefits I mention, he also emphasized the following drawbacks to keep in mind if you BYOD:
1. Loss of control. Obviously, employers that allow BYOD have to be concerned with security. By using your own device to access corporate servers, applications or data, you are giving up some control of the device that you paid for and own to your employer, so that they can implement security precautions and policies. This can mean that:
Your employer can wipe some or all of your device. Your employer will often be able to wipe your device remotely in case it’s lost or stolen. Likewise if or when you leave the company, the firm may also choose to wipe the device (or roll it back to it’s state on the date you were hired). “We see this in the legal sector especially,” says Baranowski.