So, you’ve got some staff. Mostly full time, maybe some are part time, maybe even interns. You decide that they have their own computer and you can save some coin by letting them use that instead of company-owned gear.
There are a range of reasons why this is bad business practice. Some technical, some purely business. Here are our top 6.
1. Data loss
It may be their gear but it’s your data. You have no control over backups, can’t decide if a laptop needs to be encrypted, if a firmware password is used, or implement and monitor anti-virus software.
Despite all this it’s your operation, business flow, and possible a sizeable ransom which is impacted when a laptop is left on a train, falls into the ocean, or is infected with ransomware.
2. Data theft
A staff member’s personal computer is theirs to do with as they want. They can install any piece of software, and inadvertently install malware, which can easily lead to data theft.
Additionally, once they leave you can never be sure that all your client information isn’t going directly to your competitors.
3. Risk to reputation
No matter what sort of business you run, data loss and theft can lead to high damage to your reputation. From simply being unable to complete work on time as you try to reclaim documents from another location, to being unable to complete work at all due to loss of vital information only on one staff member’s personal computer.
If you run a legal practice, a medical practice, or a financial institution the loss or theft of data can have extreme financial and reputational consequences.
4. Increased support costs
With everyone running their own gear and their own apps with their own licensing and their own version of an operating system, there will always be more IT support issues, leading to greater costs to fix the smallest things.
On top of this, without a standard anti-virus application, which stays up-to-date, the unnecessary risks increase. Security patches aren’t always applied, and backups are rarely front of mind.
5. Loss of productivity
How often do your staff buy new computers? Every couple of years? 5 years? Are they using a hand-me-down computer from 10 years ago?
Their equipment may be underpowered or lacking in storage, and unable to effectively run effectively for the business. Most commonly, home computers are likely to be so poorly maintained as to be costing your staff members hours of lost time every day; time which you end up paying for.
6. Inability to monitor staff
In an increasingly working-from-home world, a valuable tool for business owners is to monitor the effectiveness of their staff.
Are they really working on that proposal, or are they spending two hours a day on Facebook? If the computer they’re using is theirs then they will likely object to the installation of activity tracking software, limiting your visibility of their activity, but on your equipment this is less of an issue.
We always encourage our clients to provide their staff with the equipment they need to to their job, and hopefully this article outlines the reasons why we do this. If you’d like to know more please call us on 02 8213 4225 or email email@example.com.