With the increase of tablet and smartphone sales, a new policy is starting to gain popularity: Bring your own device, or BYOD for short.
BYOD is the policy of allowing employees to bring personal mobile devices (laptops, tablets, smartphones) to the workplace and use them to access the company’s systems, applications, and databases. This eliminates the need for companies to issue mobile devices to their employees.
Of course, BYOD is not without its share of problems. Security is a major concern: How can a company successfully implement a mobile management plan when different devices running on different platforms are involved? In line with that question, compatibility becomes another concern, too. A company’s systems and applications should be able to run on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. And then, there’s the issue of privacy. A company has the right to monitor employees’ work-related activities on their mobile devices, but it can be challenging to do that when employees use the gadgets for personal reasons.
These are just some of the risks that come with BYOD, and we’ll have a separate article to discuss them in greater depth in the near future. But for now, let’s focus on why BYOD deserves some serious consideration:
BYOD will increase your company’s cost savings.
Your company will save money that would otherwise be spent on buying mobile devices to be issued to your employees. Take note that the value of mobile devices doesn’t increase over time (unlike investments), so slashing the budget for their purchase will result in significant cost savings for the company.
BYOD will let your company focus on IT strategies.
Your company will be able to spend less time on helping employees learn how to use new hardware and troubleshooting usual help desk complaints. This will give way to more time for planning for more important things, like improving IT strategies for long-term development, or trying out new IT initiatives.
BYOD will give employees fewer things to worry about.
Employees will not have to worry about learning how to use unfamiliar hardware because they are already familiar with how to use their own mobile devices. They also will not have to worry about replacing lost gadgets that the company has loaned them.
BYOD will encourage employees to be more productive.
Employees will find it easier and faster to do their tasks on their own mobile devices because they’re already in their comfort zone. They’ll also find their tasks to be more enjoyable, mainly because of the level of freedom they can exercise when they use their own mobile devices.
BYOD will increase the mobility of your employees.
Employees will not have to carry company-issued mobile devices alongside their personal gadgets whenever they’re on the go, resulting in better mobility for them. This is especially convenient for employees who work in the field, or who often travel for business.
BYOD will attract more talent to your company.
Job seekers will be more inclined to send in their application to your company when they find out that BYOD is an option. Because of the benefits employees enjoy when BYOD is implemented, many people are starting to see this policy as a must-have workplace perk.
From the list above, BYOD sounds like a great choice, and it seems that many employees think so, too. According to research firm Ovum, 7 out of 10 employees already use their own mobile devices for work. The study involved the participation of 4,371 employees worldwide.
Based on the results of the study, Ovum advised companies to adapt to the changing times by encouraging BYOD instead of prohibiting employees to use their own mobile devices. Companies can make technological shift work for them while making their employees happy.
But before implementing BYOD across the whole company, why not give it a try on a smaller scale? The best place to start is with your company’s corporate board and the best tool to use is Convene, a paperless, remote board meeting application that works on multiple platforms. For your directors, it’s the ideal app to use for testing out BYOD because it works on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices.