Society for Human Resource Management Guest Article: BYOD Has Its Risks


Recently HR and IT professionals have become well-acquainted with the term “BYOD” (short for bring your own device), the practice whereby employers permit employees to use their own personal mobile devices—typically smartphones or tablets—for business-related tasks. Recognizing the potential benefits of BYOD, such as cost savings on equipment and IT, the utilization of more sophisticated and efficient devices, and improved employee morale, many employers now permit employees to use their own devices for business-related purposes. A recent McKinsey survey of employees revealed that approximately 80 percent of smartphones and 67 percent of tablets used for work are employee-owned. Gartner Inc., an IT research and advisory company, predicts that by 2017 half of employers will require employees to supply their own devices for work purposes. Indeed, it appears that BYOD has transitioned from an employee perk to a seemingly common practice.

Despite its popularity, BYOD comes with significant challenges. Employers likely have become familiar with a variety of security risks such as data breaches and network invasions. Privacy concerns also arise when an employee’s personal information is carried into the workplace through employee-owned devices. While security and privacy issues are rightfully at the forefront of concerns associated with BYOD, HR professionals must also be cognizant of several unanticipated issues, such as wage-and-hour disputes, discrimination claims, and safety-related risks.

Excerpted from the Society for Human Resource Management, April 16, 2014. To view full article, click the PDF below.

Society for Human Resource Management - BYOD Has Its Risks.pdf

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