According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics survey, 75 percent of American businesses reported using at least one green technology in August 2011. The most common technologies used either reduced the creation of waste materials or improved energy efficiency, the survey found. Going green cuts business expenses, benefits the environment and generates goodwill. One growing tech trend, BYOD or ‘Bring Your Own Device,’ offers a range of environmental benefits that can green your business.
How BYOD Can Help You Go Green
At first, it may seem that allowing employees to view work content from their iPad instead of their company-provided desktop computer doesn’t have much to do with green technology. However, according to renewableenergyworld.com and empireone.com, BYOD can accomplish the following environmentally friendly goals:
- Employees will print less when they can easily view work files on the go, at home and in the office.
- Employees no longer need to maintain one or more personal devices plus one or more workplace devices, leading to less power consumed.
- Smaller devices such as tablets or smartphones consume less energy than desktop computers.
- Staff and management can work together to ensure that outmoded office technology is recycled or donated, helping to keep electronic waste out of landfills.
- From BYOD adoption forward, business can enjoy greatly reduced electronic waste disposal, which benefits the environment.
- Smaller devices require fewer raw materials, which slows the depletion of natural resources and reduces fossil fuel depletion transporting materials to manufacturing plants.
- Old employee devices can enjoy second lives when wiped of sensitive data. As staff outgrow devices, they can recycle them to other family members, donate them to charitable organizations or keep one as a backup in case of device loss.
- When employees have access to their business information from their personal device, they are less likely to forget an important document and require courier service, fax or scan transmission or other energy-consuming last minute solutions.
Getting the Most Out of BYOD
BYOD marks a big transition, and it will go smoother if you adopt a policy that outlines what this change means for employees, what types of devices and applications are directly supported and what level of oversight IT and management will have. An effective policy should also cover device activation upon entering the program, device deactivation if employees leave the company and how employees can report lost or stolen devices. Forty percent of small businesses do not enforce any type of BYOD policy, which creates vulnerabilities, according to windstreambusiness.com.
BYOD poses difficult questions for personal privacy, as employers require some amount of oversight over enterprise data stored on these devices. Blackberry offers solutions to the challenges of maintaining a business and personal balance with enterprise BYOD.
Employee attitude toward software updates and patching can put the business at risk. If an employee downloads illegal applications or clicks open a phishing email, the device could become infected with malware and your business data could be compromised. Enterprise protection measures such as firewalls and anti-virus software can offer some measure of protection, but aren’t comprehensive. A partitioning system that keeps enterprise assets safe and separate from personal assets or regular IT device security screening and updating can help mitigate business risks.