The answer? It depends.
For some its suitable and for other organisations it is not. It also depends on what you value in terms of company brand, compliance, customer, and employee experience and in some cases WH&S. Many reasons against BYOD are becoming increasingly invalid as global UCaaS (cloud unified communications) providers improve the capability, quality, and functionality of dialling from the company extension via a softphone. With calls made through the company extension/softphone, security, brand, compliance, and other requirements may be addressed so be sure to investigate those options. Here is a quick list for and against BYOD from the perspective of the employee and company:
For and against BYOD from an employee’s perspective
- Damage to my phone! – for employees that work in environments where their phone could be easily damaged using a company issued phone is preferable;
- Invasive: Don’t want to put anything on my phone (i.e.. Invasive company software)
- WHS – the right and ability to turn off the phone when you finish work
- Upgrades: I may have to upgrade my phone to meet requirements for company installs.
- Two Phones? Don’t want to carry two phones
- Familiarity with phone and functions
- Stay connected: I remain connected to my work contacts, client etc after I leave the company
For and against BYOD from a company’s perspective
- Cost – mobile device management (MDM) and enrolment process and other processes may make it more expensive;
- Sensitivity of data – the risk from device theft, cyber or employee departure may be too great;
- Time – may require more time to manage and maintain MDM
- Security risk: with employees who unknowingly download apps that may be a security risk
- Brand – concern about company number leaving with employee and losing that connection Note, this is not an issue if calls are made through the company extension via a soft phone
- Lower costs – less MDM; For the same reasons above it may benefit you – if your deployment is simple, you may not require complex MDM. Alternatively, a UCaaS (unified communications) service with the ability to provide an end-to-end encrypted phone call and secure messaging/video may be all you require;
- Lower costs – less voice calls – if company calls can be made from a soft phone extension you may only require data for those calls and thus a lower cost. Note, 90% of mobile device- based calls are made within buildings so many of those calls may be using in house wi-fi services
- Higher Security – the levels of security provided by a global class UCaaS service can be significant and very difficult to match so why bother – consider using a UCaaS service;
- Keeping mobile numbers – many employees often request that they keep the mobile number when they leave the company – this can be a death by 1,000 cuts scenario completing those forms every time. I’ve had this very sentiment expressed to me by a fatigued and overworked IT Manager;
In either case, factor in the value of having work related calls by your employees made primarily from a company extension/soft phone. The mobile phone is just a device and there will be two options for calls; the mobile network or the company extension. One gives you a phone bill at the end of the month and list of calls. The other gives you a world of opportunity to improve employee/customer experience, brand, compliance, and much more.