The concept of Bring Your Own (BYOD) is nothing new, but in 2012 BYOD is set to change the way small business works and could possibly help the economy back on the way to recovery.
BYOD of course stands for ‘Bring Your Own Device’ and with the uptake of personal smartphones and web-connected devices at a time when small businesses are finding it more and more difficult to invest in capital equipment, it seems a logical progression in the new year.
The chances are already that many of your employees are walking around with internet-enabled devices that are faster and have higher specifications than the ones you have in your office. So 2012 looks set to be the era of employers asking employees to use their own personal equipment for business use.
This no doubt opens a can of works, in terms of liability, taxation and discrimination, but would seem to be something more and more businesses are going to have to consider. In that respect expect insurers and the like, to also begin changing the way they ‘do business’ and help the business world evolve and adapt.
It could be a double-edged sword but it should mean that employees arrive at the workplace, IT-savvy and in particular with knowledge of the very devices they are being asked to use on a daily basis. It could also help solve the moans and groans of that sector of employee who always think they should have better equipment.
As well as the more legal implications, they arrival of wireless hungry devices from the home are likely to put extra burden on wireless networks, never designed for such use, as well as countless security issues regarding using personal devices and even wireless protocols.
Finally, the blurring of personal and business boundaries could lead to more employees abusing company time to carry out personal tasks and / or lead to customers becoming a burden to IT departments for support requests that may not be entirely work related.
The concept may have many flaws and create potential issues, but from a practical point of view expect BYOD moving forward and businesses and relevant government departments adjusting to embrace it.
Have you already adopted BYOD? What are the biggest problems you have faced? How have you dealt with them?