Skip to content

Is it time to Bring Your Own Device?

Technology has helped many companies achieve impressive growth.

Whether it is streamlining processes, getting goods to market quicker or improving communication, technology can make a real difference to a business.

Gareth Yates

Gareth Yates

With technology also playing a greater part in our everyday lives – how many times a day do you check your smartphone? – there has been a move in more recent times to using that trend to the benefit of businesses.

A number of companies have decided that instead of using up large amounts of valuable cashflow to invest in a bank of IT systems and hardware, they will use technology which employees already have to help in their business.

This idea has led to a sharp rise in the number of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) agreements in a range of different workplaces.

This can encompass anything from being able to access company information and systems via a smartphone to carrying out most company business on your own PC.

There are a number of advantages to BYOD – in theory, it should cost a business less in terms of spending on hardware, staff are made more accessible and able to work more flexibly and the fact that they are using their own devices should mean they are more comfortable with operating them and should spend less time dealing with technical problems.

However, it is vital for any company considering the introduction of BYOD to their workplace to think carefully about implementation, monitoring, security and data protection.

The first thing any company needs to do when it comes to BYOD is to discuss the idea with its employees, explaining what its plans are, how the system will work and what it will mean for employees who sign up to it.

This is also a good opportunity to gauge interest in BYOD amongst workers. It is important to stress that BYOD is a voluntary process so getting staff ‘buy-in’ at an early stage is crucial to any successful BYOD implementation.

A clear, understandable policy covering issues including the use of company information, data protection, privacy and confidentiality needs to be put in place and be part of the agreement which BYOD users in a company sign up to.

The policy should also outline the user’s personal rights and the company’s rights in the BYOD arrangement. Professional legal advice should be sought on the contents of the policy and the agreement.

If appropriate, training courses should be arranged to ensure BYOD users have a thorough understanding of the issues and their responsibilities before any software is added to their devices.

In terms of the systems used to make BYOD a reality, there are a number of providers in the marketplace specialising in supplying the requisite software.

Do your research on potential providers and ensure you take appropriate advice on any agreement you sign with a provider.

Once a BYOD system is in place, it is vital to ensure you continue monitoring its usage to ensure compliance with data protection and privacy rules, keep up to date with any virus or security issues and make sure users are making the best use of the system.

There are, of course, a range of other issues which companies need to consider when it comes to BYOD for which there is not enough space here. However, with technology making ever greater strides into all of our lives, BYOD is something which more businesses are likely to look into in the near future.

* This article first appeared in a supplement on the Yorkshire Fastest 50 Awards 2015.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

This page may contain links that direct you to third party websites. We have no control over and are not responsible for the content, use by you or availability of those third party websites, for any products or services you buy through those sites or for the treatment of any personal information you provide to the third party.

Follow us on LinkedIn

Keep up to date with all the latest updates and insights from our expert team

Take me there

What we're thinking