The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) craze has been talked about a lot in terms of IT headaches, security concerns and management complications. But we see it in a more positive light – with every employee who brings their own device to work, companies are in a better position to handle a crisis situation or minimize negative behavior within the organization. Why, you ask? Because with mobile apps like ELERTS, these devices turn into communication tools that can help companies broadcast information and manage emergency situations better than ever.

Imagine every employee being able to communicate directly to emergency and police personnel regarding what they see on the inside when held hostage by an active shooter, for example. Or, to report suspicious behavior outside an office building or in the parking lot. You may wonder, “Can’t employees just text in such a situation?” Possibly, but they’d need to know who to text – it’s doubtful that companies have a one-size-fits-all emergency number, and texting is limited in what it can send.

ELERTS not only enables employees to communicate to first responders, police and emergency personnel, but those entities can also send directions, help and information through the app to all employees. In doing so, an emergency situation – or even just a nuisance – that could otherwise quickly get out of control – no one is sure where to go, where danger lies or who is there to help – is better managed and more quickly resolved. For example, companies could broadcast messages such as “The North entrance is closed this morning due to flooding – all employees should park and enter on the south side of the building today.”

The proliferation of BYOD combined with smart apps that enable one to many communication and alerts is a good thing for companies. The crowdsourcing aspect – eyes and ears everywhere – can help keep office buildings and campuses safer – minimizing theft, protecting workers who work late or walk through dark parking lots, lessening property damage or even stopping loss of life – or simply making company to employee communication easier and faster.

How else are you embracing the BYOD trend?