Buy or bring? How to choose employee mobile devices

iT1 Source is in a unique position to help you unpack the considerations and decide whether to buy devices for staff use, or allow employees to bring their own.

As an executive or chief technology officer at your company, you have a lot on your mind, not the least of which is mobile devices for employees. Currently, there are two main schools of thought here: The company can lease or purchase devices for the use of its staff members, or allow them to bring their own personal laptops, smartphones and tablets for use at work. Each approach has its own risks and benefits and it's up to you to decide what's best for your organization.

However, there are a lot of moving parts to consider here, including the overall costs involved in ensuring data security. As a leader in the tech industry who's partnered with some of the biggest names across a range of marketplaces, iT1 Source is in a unique position to help you unpack these considerations and decide whether to buy devices for staff use, or allow employees to bring their own.

BYOD: Benefits and risks

For the last few years, BYOD initiatives have swept the corporate world, with businesses reaping advantages like increased mobility alongside cost savings. After all, when employees are allowed to bring their own preferred devices, they are armed for productivity, and the company can allocate funds that might have been dedicated to purchasing devices to other mission-critical programs.

Should your company put a BYOD program in place, or purchase devices for employees? Should your company put a BYOD program in place, or purchase devices for employees?

However, BYOD doesn't come without risks, particularly when it comes to security. Employee users must be trained on the best ways to access data from their devices to prevent breaches or accidental leaks – but there are no guarantees here. That being said, this doesn't mean that data protection is impossible in a BYOD company.

"Policies and procedures are the first line of defense against data leaks, but you have to get employees on board," TechTarget noted. "When employees do violate policies, make sure to control data and network access and use the right tools to manage devices, applications and information. Encrypting data will help keep corporate information safe, as well as encouraging employees to use the virtual private network."

Buying devices: Worth the price?

For some businesses, it makes more sense to purchase laptops or other mobile devices for employee use. In these cases, benefits like reliability as well as peace of mind about to data privacy come into play.

Basha Rubin of Priori Legal told the Young Entrepreneur Council that when companies provide laptops for workers, this helps ensure security, even when employees work from home or other locations. What's more, when a staff member seeks to leave the organization, there's little to no concern about sensitive company data residing on a personal computing device.

"BYOD can be an effective strategy for some companies. Other firms find more advantages in investing in devices."

It's also important to ensure that the workforce is armed with the tools they need to complete important tasks. Decision-makers must keep in mind that it might not be within some workers' financial means to purchase a top-performing device for work.

"A huge headache startups run into is having employees come into work complaining about how poorly their personal machine runs," Danny Wong of Blank Label told YEC. "For salaried employees, you should invest in providing them with the right equipment they'll need to be fully productive so they never have the excuse, 'My laptop just won't cooperate today.'"

Putting the right tools in place

BYOD can be an effective strategy for some companies. Other firms, however, find more advantages in investing in devices that will help ensure security, productivity and efficiency. If your organization belongs to the latter camp, it's important that you select the right tools for the job.

iT1 has partnerships with several technology providers including HP Inc., a leader in the business mobility solution sector. HP Inc. offers several enterprise-grade laptops, tablets and smartphones that include built-in security. These were created specifically for business users, ensuring that employees have everything they need to get the job done.

For more information, contact one of our expert iT1 Source agents today.