Bring Your Own Device – or BYOD – is a hot topic in enterprise mobility. It means that workers can bring their own smartphones, tablets and other devices into work and/or use them for professional activities.

One of BYOD’s main benefits is a considerable increase in productivity. And that makes sense. Just think of your own tennis racket or set of golf clubs vs. borrowed gear – tools that you know improve performance. But is that a realistic expectation in a business environment? And, if so, how does it work?
 

The current state of BYOD

You’ve heard of BYOD, sure. But how widespread is it really? And how do other IT decision-makers go about implementing it? A short state of affairs:

  • Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) has grown from a $67 billion market to a $181 billion market (Markets&Markets)
  • More than 67% of workers already use their own devices at work (CBS MoneyWatch)
  • The number of connected devices per employee (was) 3.3 in 2014 (Cisco)
  • More than 50% of workplaces will require employees to bring their own devices by 2018 (Gartner)

BYOD is not going away anytime soon – that much is clear – but how can you take advantage of the business opportunities it offers and increase productivity at the same time?
 

How BYOD boosts productivity

It’s important to keep in mind that today’s workforce is pretty tech-savvy – they know their own devices better than anyone. As a result, less training is required and they can get work done faster than with a company-owned device. Faster turnaround, happy customers, more revenue – easy.

A solid BYOD policy opens up superior access to information, wherever your employees are. Mobilizing your workforce offers its own set of advantages – and has fundamentally changed many companies core-structure. If we only consider productivity gains, a recent study by Dell Software shows that BYOD programs induced more flexible schedules, heightened creativity, innovation and better workplace collaboration.

Employee satisfaction is the most crucial factor to productivity. And employees who operate under a BYOD umbrella are happier than those who have to rely on enterprise devices. Even if they have to pay for it themselves. People replace their devices at a faster speed than you ever could. Essentially allowing your organization to profit from the latest technologies, without any of the costs.

In short? Your employees work longer, faster and happier with their own devices. And it costs less too.
 

The 3 BYOD-challenges

Convinced yet? Don’t forget that boosting employee productivity by adopting a BYOD policy requires solid planning and a well-devised framework. If not, you could face any of these challenges:

  1. Security
    The biggest risk associated with BYOD-policies is cyber security. IT departments have a hard time remaining in control of sensitive data due to employees’ increased access. These concerns have diminished thanks to a large variety of Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions that can encrypt, containerize and erase enterprise data.
  2. Privacy
    Balancing security and privacy is BYOD’s second largest challenge. Organizations can track and store users’ activities with most MDM-solutions. 4 out of 5 employees consider this a serious breach of their privacy. Not merely a morale downer, but a legitimate legal challenge.
  3. Incompatibility
    Organizations like their employees to use the same system to make sure there are no compatibility issues such as version mismatches, wrong configurations or inadequate access rights. Nowadays, however, most mainstream operating systems support all your favorite software.
     

Catch up to the BYOD buildup

Will BYOD boost or hurt your (team’s) productivity? In theory, BYOD dramatically increases productivity. Without a solid mobile policy, however, you run the risk of achieving the exact opposite effect.

A good way to protect your business – and your employees – from BYOD-blunders is to adopt a well-devised mobile policy or outsource MDM entirely. Finally, please consider this takeaway from Ovum’s 2013 Bring-Your-Own survey of 4,371 employees in 19 countries:

“About 60% of workers today access company data on their smartphones and tablets, but only a third of businesses have implemented management tools and processes for those devices.”

 

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Xavier Stockmans

Xavier Stockmans

Solution Advisor