“What on earth is BYOD?” a friend asked me earlier today. I was surprised and thought he was joking at first, given that he is a consultant in a growing IT firm in my city. But then I realized that he really had no clue about it.
I am in the enterprise mobility industry and hearing this term day in and night out made me automatically presume that everyone knows about BYOD since it is such a rapidly growing trend. But I now realize that there are people who don’t know about it completely yet.
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. It refers to employees bringing their own mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to the workplace for usage and for connecting to the office network. Many corporations and business organizations now allow their employees to bring and use their own mobile devices at work. While using mobile phones was not quite encouraged in offices earlier, this trend has changed owing to the rate of innovation in the smartness and intelligence of mobile devices.
The BYOD issue began when it became clear that a lot of people wanted to use their new iPhone or iPads (and now Android smartphones and tablets as well) at work. It started simply with the company employee logging on to the company’s Wi-Fi network to conveniently browse the web. The employee would ask the IT admin department for the Wi-Fi password and connect to it using his or her smartphone. This quickly grew into more complex situations like mobile device and data security, policies for kinds of apps and devices used and ensuring network security. That is how BYOD evolved into a policy with governance ideas as well.
PC’s were updated only around once in 3-4 years traditionally in organizations. But mobile phones are being updated every few months now because of high rate of innovation. This brought greater availability of latest resources to employees who wanted the flexibility of working even from outside the office. As per a Cisco study, 3 out 5 employees say that they don’t need to be in office to be productive and that they value mobility more than a higher pay package. As per another Cisco demographic, 7.1 billion mobile devices are expected to be connected on the Internet by the end of 2015.
All these factors lead us to the growth of the BYOD policy across industries. BYOD not only shifts costs away from the organization to the user, it also results in rise in productivity, increased revenue and more time saved. There is also the environment factor of reduced paperwork. Normal processes that would have long bottlenecks in their workflows are completed faster with ubiquitous mobile device access to employees. Employees can access their office network from outside office, hence increasing accessibility and productivity. Another advantage of the BYOD policy is that most mobile smartphones and tablets are equipped with cutting edge technologies, so the organization automatically benefits from these devices with latest features and capabilities.
Clearly defined rules of engagement and security measures coupled with stringent data ownership and compliance can make BYOD work for any organization that plans of implementing it. While the initial setup of a security protocol and a support staff may be a bit tedious, it does bear fruit in the long run.
Ford’s success story upon implementation of BYOD is a perfect example of how BYOD can work for you in organizations. Even SAP Australia has stated that BYOD is working well for them with the most interest coming from the young employees in the firm.
Empower your employees to embrace the revolution of BYOD and cut the cost of using different devices. Allow them to choose what device they wish to use, and feel most comfortable with. BYOD can work for your organization too as long as you strategize and plan your BYOD policy well.
Streebo is a leader in developing mobile smartfronts for several of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details on how you can leverage mobility for your enterprise in less than 2 months.