BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), once a debatable topic, has now firmly asserted itself in many corporations. The desire to be constantly connected compels employees to bring their devices in to the workplace.
~As a result, it makes sense to take advantage of this and feed their hunger to ‘be in the know’ with professional and productive communications.
Firstly, before we delve deeper in to the BYOD evolution, let’s explore the distinction between BYOD and “managed devices”.
Simply put, BYOD encourages employees to bring their personal device in to the workplace for professional purposes, whereas managed devices are those supplied by the employer.
A well designed BYOD strategy and implementation will ensure that personal devices boost employee productivity and satisfaction rates without increasing costs. Further to this, the initiative has also helped to ease the previous mistrust felt towards IT.
According to a survey from Aruba Networks, 25% in Europe, 31% in the Middle East and 45% in the USA worry about IT department access to their personal data, while 18% in Europe and 26% in the Middle East fear their IT department would interfere with their private data if they handed over their device.
This leads to the additional advantage that people are more likely to fix any problems with their own device via their provider, before seeking the help of the IT department, saving employers more time and money.
However, BYOD does not come without limitations. David Wilson, IT Manager at VectorCSP, said one big issue for BYOD is one of time management, “If all of our devices are the same, and I have control over their use, I can support them with a minimum of time and effort. The simple act of setting up email connectivity on unfamiliar devices eats up resources.”
How has IT changed its procedures as a result of BYOD?
Gone are the days where employees will quietly accept whatever devices and software the IT department has mandated they use. In fact, IT support teams have needed to widen their skills and re-tool to address a more diverse IT asset base, a greater variety of device configurations and more software incompatibilities and system conflicts – quickly, competently and cost effectively. As David Johnstone, CIO at Currie Investment Management stated:
“The IT head role will stop being about providing a hardware infrastructure, and will be much more about helping the business understand how technology systems can transform their business processes.”
Historically, less attention has been paid to the security of sensitive corporate data on private systems than on dedicated business IT systems, which exposes the organization to unnecessary risks. Furthermore, it is well understood that less standardization leads to more potential security vulnerabilities. According to a 2013 Aruba Report study:
34% of Europeans, 35% of Middle Easterners and more than half of Americans (51%) claim that their IT department takes no steps to ensure the security of corporate files and applications on their personal devices.
However, because a BYOD concept generally means cost savings for both the employee and the company, when it comes to replacing workplace computers, the outcome is a classic win-win situation for everyone, freeing up more of the IT budget for investment in heightened security measures.
What sorts of “mobile enterprise” software have arisen as a result of this?
One new product is the on-boarding app, which aid the implementation process for new employees. Key benefits include reduced time to employee productivity, keep track on the variety of paperwork and improve reach of company communication and culture.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw
Apps for corporate communication have proven to be a key addition to any corporation. An app for corporate communication can solve many of the issues associated with multiple communication streams. Handled in the right way, it can guarantee that each individual only needs to see what is most relevant.