Owned Devices are the Way to Go

Shawnee Love   •  
June 18, 2016

Last week I confessed that I prefer to provide business tools and devices rather than allow employees to bring their own.  The biggest reason is because it offers clients greater control over their important business information.  The reality is when things are great between employees and employers, this issue is not a big deal.  But if the relationship goes sideways, critical information walks out the door and doesn’t come back.  Angry employees take information. At least if it is a company owned device you should have all the information backed up and/or you will be able to get the device back.

There are other good reasons for company provided devices as well:

  • Active and current information-  If you have software, apps or information which you maintain regularly and share throughout your system, company owned devices tend to be updated more consistently and easily.
  • Security protection- You have greater control over the security protection (e.g., firewalls, virus detection, etc.) for devices if you have all one kind.  When employees bring their own, they may have apps or software installed which upset the tools you security methods you like to use.Computer security 3d concept - laptop and key
  • Economies of Scale- If you buy a lot of one type of device, you can generally get a group plan or receive volume discounts that you wouldn’t realize if you are reimbursing employees for their own devices.
  • Support Consistency- BYOD programs often mean that you have a variety of systems and tools to support.  However, small businesses generally don’t have enough resources to maintain multiple systems and tools.  If you provide the devices, then supporting them tends to be a lot more manageable.
  • Compliance- With company provided devices, you have greater ability to ensure compliance with regulations and policies on use, storage, retention, and destruction of information.  With BYOD situations, you are often reliant upon employees to do the right thing.  And while most people want to do the right thing, in our busy world, it can be difficult to find the time to review information and delete that which is no longer current.  However, having a company owned device hooked up to a system, means you can manage the compliance systemically rather than device by device which is far more efficient and effective.
  • Harmony- It sounds ridiculous but bring your own device programs can lead to debates and conflicts about about whose device is bigger, better, more user friendly and faster.  If everyone has the same one, the discussions are about how to use the tool better, faster, more efficiently which is a far more productive discussion.

With company owned devices you have control, and I like to encourage clients to have control over key assets like information for all the reasons cited above.   Company owned devices allow employers to carefully manage and protect information.

Of course this all assumes you aren’t cheaping out and providing bargain basement devices.  If you don’t keep your technology current and invest in good quality devices, then a BYOD environment may be your saving grace.  And that’s ok too as long as you are okay with the challenges and potential consequences.