It wasn't long ago that companies and their IT leaders were in complete control of how their employees communicated. As long as they provided phone service and they had authority over when, where and how those phones were used, there was really nothing people could do to circumvent the rules. Now, though, things are changing.
BYOD poses myriad challenges for bosses who want to ensure their people work efficiently and securely.
We currently live in the era of bring your own device (BYOD). Many employees no longer have to care about the phone service their employers provide. They can simply bring their own mobile devices with them to the office, using them for everything from calls and texts to checking confidential financial data.
On one hand, this is convenient for the workforce. It gives them added flexibility to work however they see fit. On the other hand, it poses myriad challenges for bosses who want to ensure their people work efficiently and securely. It's now time to address those challenges.
Knowing the implications of BYOD
On the surface, it might seem like no big deal if employees are occasionally using their personal mobile devices for completing a task or two. There are some caveats to be aware of, though. Whenever people use their own phones instead of their designated corporate phone systems, some issues arise. According to a list of Department of Defence guidelines on BYOD, these issues may include:
- Legal repercussions - If employees make costly errors or even commit crimes using a mobile device on your company's premises, you might be held liable. Understanding the legal ramifications of such an event is definitely important.
- Financial considerations - How will it affect your budget if employees embrace BYOD? It might be a good thing, as employees won't have to lean on your IT infrastructure as much. It also might hurt your company in the form of security and training costs.
- Security concerns - With your own proprietary IT setup, it's relatively easy to safeguard your company and its data. When people use their own devices, it gets a little more complicated. How will you safeguard important company files?
Spelling out the employee ground rules
When employees begin to circumvent traditional phone systems and use their own devices instead, it's important for their managers to step in and set a few ground rules for governing this process.
CIO recommends, first and foremost, that employers specify which devices are permitted on the premises and why. Which phones and tablets do you trust to help employees do their jobs, and which have you concerned about the productivity or security drawbacks? Make your specifications clear.
Furthermore, it's important to have a culture of accountability in place. Everyone needs to know that they're responsible for their own data that they keep and share on their personal devices. It's their job to keep it from getting lost or slipping into the wrong hands. Companies can certainly benefit from BYOD, but they need all team members to do their part to ensure responsible use.
Getting a phone system you can trust
Allowing BYOD is part of doing business these days, but that doesn't mean the corporate phone system is obsolete. You absolutely still want to have one - and ideally, it would be one with advanced features like call forwarding and tracking that can help you keep tabs on your employees and their communication.
That's what we offer at Fonality - business phone systems that are affordable, powerful and reliable. Even as the BYOD trend grows and it increasingly feels like your employees are beyond your control, our systems help you restore some semblance of order. With integrated call management and collaboration, distributed worker support and many more valuable features, we will help you run your business with the greatest of ease.