HR & IT Intersection: Part 2 – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies

Intersection of HR and IT Part 2 - Pathway HR Solutions

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed how the intersection of HR and IT has resulted in the formation of a new kind of work team.  Here in Part 2, we address bring your own device (BYOD) policies and the risks and benefits of such. The BYOD concept, while not new, really got a big boost with the coronavirus crisis and subsequent rise of remote work.

BYOD Risks and Benefits

HR and IT unavoidably intersect when the need arises to establish BYOD policies. Before such policies can even be discussed, team members need to understand the risks and benefits. The primary risks are threefold:

  1. Security – Employee devices may not be equipped to fully address an organization’s security concerns.  This enhances the risk of security breaches.
  2. Incompatibility – Employee devices may not be compatible with all company apps. In addition, operating systems may be problematic if they differ from what the company uses.
  3. Loss and Theft – If an employee device is lost or stolen, protected company and client data and accounts may be in jeopardy.

That said, there are also benefits of BYOD policies.  Three of the primary ones are:

  1. Savings – Companies may find it cost-effective to help employees cover the expense of their devices rather than investing in upgrades for company devices.
  2. Productivity – Limited data suggests that employees are more productive when using their own devices. This may be due to familiarity. It might also be the fact that they always have their devices with them.
  3. Communication – BYOD policies tend to facilitate better communication by way of platforms outside of company email.

Understanding the risks and benefits of BYOD gives HR and IT a foundation on which to develop policies. Both can bring their expertise to the table. HR handles the practical applications while IT addresses the technical. Together, they can come up with great policies that protect both the organization and its employees.