Author Profile Picture

Optimus Sourcing

Optimus Sourcing

Marketing Executive

Read more from Optimus Sourcing

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

The Advantages and Disadvantages of BYOD


A few weeks ago, we looked at the pros and cons of choosing an eLearning solution when choosing training. One of the considerations we mentioned was whether or not you were going to provide the equipment, or implement a BYOD system. We feel that this was an issue that needed to be explored deeper – with the BYOD debate raging hotter than ever in the Learning and Development Industry.

First of all it is important to establish what exactly BYOD means. It stands for Bring Your Own Device and what it means is a business policy where employees bring in personally owned mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and allow them to access privileged business data such as databases and email on their own device. It also allows them to remotely access this information from locations outside the office. In terms of learning, this could mean employees accessing eLearning modules either at work or at other locations such as their own home. The important thing when it comes to BYOD is that the device is their own, not the company’s.


Lower Costs – The most obvious benefit to a company using BYOD is that it means they don’t have to purchase a significant amount of costly devices in order for employees to be able to do eLearning. Bearing in mind the average tablet will cost upwards from £150, an eLearning strategy involving 300 employees could set you back over £4500 before any training has even been purchased. So if you don’t have to buy any devices, that represents significant savings. Breakages and wastage is also likely to be reduced by the fact people tend to take better care of their own stuff, than company owned devices and any repair costs are the employee’s burden anyway.

Technology Familiarity – Most people tend to be familiar with their own devices. Apple fans are good with Apple technology and Windows fans are better with devices with Windows operating systems. Getting used to another one can be irritating for any employee. BYOD takes this issue away, as they are working on their own personalised device which is already suited to their own needs and that they are already perfectly competent on.

Flexibility – Workers won’t need to travel with several devices satisfying their home and work needs, as the one device will fulfil both. Work that could normally only be done in the office will be able to be done wherever, as employees have access to all of the data they need anywhere they want and finally – employees aren’t hindered by the usual strict rules that they have to adhere to when  using company property. BYOD allows greater freedoms to your employees.

BYOD pros and cons


Costs for the employee As mentioned before, the costs of BYOD are down to the employee. Not everybody has such a device or even want one. Therefore being told by your company you then need to get one for work is likely to leave them feeling fairly hard done by. Factor in the increased usage and transportation of the device likely leading to quicker depreciation of the device and possible accidents – repairs could also prove to be costly for the employee. They may not be happy shouldering this cost.

Device DisparitiesWhen a company buys devices for their employees they have the freedom to buy the perfect device for their need. Therefore it will have the correct technological features for the purpose they are serving. However with BYOD, your employees are likely to have a whole plethora of devices however, all with different capabilities and operating systems that run different programmes at different levels of quality. It is hard to get programmes that are of high quality but are also able to cover all platforms and realistic quality of devices, so this could cause issues. You also have to adapt your system to be able to deal with a BYOD policy.

Security – Companies all spend a very large amount of money on their security systems as they know that they can’t afford for their data to be leaked or viruses to be caught. Employees however are unlikely to have this level of security. Whilst the everyday security software for home use can cover all day to day activities, you might not trust them to be up to the job of protecting your valuable customer data. In addition, how do companies with BYOD stop employees who are leaving the company from walking away with a significant amount of your data, available at a touch of the button on their device? This can also be flipped for the employees – they may feel their own privacy is at risk if they do personal web surfing on a device that is linked to their company’s systems.



Ask your employees – This kind of policy has a big knock on effect for employees so make sure you ask how they feel about such a system before implementing it. Try and find out how many of your employees have a device currently and what level it is. If you are going to have to enforce half your workforce to buy an expensive new smartphone then maybe BYOD isn’t the right strategy for you. However if the majority of them do have high quality devices, then the barriers for you are far smaller.

Agreements – Make sure your employees know exactly where they stand. Ensure there are agreements in place before any policy is introduced detailing who is responsible for what costs and what happens if any employee leaves the company. If everything is down on paper than at least some complications can be lessened in the future – BYOD agreements are becoming more and more popular due to this reason.

Quality TechnologyAs mentioned, your employees are likely to have a whole range of devices varying in capabilities. So it is very well worth trying to find the technology for your eLearning, for example, that will function on as many as possible. Again, finding out from your employees what devices they have beforehand rather than reacting to problems after rolling out the technology is important when implementing a BYOD policy.

Quality Security – Viruses and Spyware can cause untold damage to your business. So before setting BYOD up, research the security options available and see if they will cover what you need. If they don’t, it is probably not worth taking the risk – as with that many devices, someone is likely to pick up a virus. Another way around it is to always make sure people only have access to the data they actually need at any one point to lessen risk – however this isn’t a an overall solution.

Author Profile Picture
Optimus Sourcing

Marketing Executive

Read more from Optimus Sourcing

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!