Requiring employees to bring their own mobile devices has the potential to save your small business a significant amount of money, as the cost of purchasing and managing the devices is greatly minimized and employee productivity soars. But, your savings can be significantly compromised if your don’t implement a thought-out, comprehensive BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program

laptop-and-cellphone-1269437-mA recent study by Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, reported that big corporations can save over three thousand dollars per employee each year with a BYOD program that gives employees the ability do their jobs from their personal devices. Much of these savings can be attributed to the fact that companies no longer have to foot the bill for new devices and data plans.

Many employees also prefer to use their own devices instead of having to carry around two sets of equipment- one set for business use, and another for personal use. This fact alone can lead to greater productivity.

But a BYOD program is not without its cons, and in many cases, these cost of these drawbacks, which include things like implementing new security measures, network improvements and support, can far outweigh the benefits.

So what does this all mean for your small business? The reality is that the cost of BYOD will vary significantly from one business to the next, and a lot will depend on the real behavior of your employees. What information will they need to access, and from which devices, and how much more will they work when all barriers have been removed? You also have to consider the real cost to purchase the devices and data plans versus the added costs necessary to maintain a BYOD infrastructure and the all-important security system.

If you choose to implement a BYOD policy, make sure you spend time figuring out how you will pay for services, for example, who’s going to pay for the voice and data plans? There are a couple of ways you can handle cost-sharing, but it’s important to pick one that will be agreeable to your employees. You will also need to create acceptable use and security policies that include a detailed rundown of the consequences of violation.

In short, if you are considering implementing a BYOD program in your small business, you definitely want to spend some time going over all the pros and cons. If there are more pros than cons, then go for it, but do it responsibly. If the cons are coming out ahead, then a BYOD program just doesn’t pay no matter how happy it may make your employees.