The trend toward SMEs offering Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) alternatives to employees started quietly in 2004. However, use of the concept has grown rapidly in the recent past. Do you offer BYOD? Should you? Done well, statistics show that there are advantages to allowing BYOD, and employees are starting to expect it.
What’s Happening in the Marketplace?
The likelihood is that some of your competitors are offering BYOD. A study by Tech Pro Research indicates that 59% of companies allow employees to use their own devices at work, and another 13% plan to in the near future. Another study by Syntonic found that 87% of companies allow employees to use personal devices to access business apps.
BYOD is no longer an interesting concept – it’s becoming a necessity.
How Do Employees Feel About BYOD?
Research conducted among employees by CITO Research show that more than 53% of the workers polled believe that using their own devices makes them more productive. In addition, a Cisco study found that workers believe they can more easily balance their professional and personal lives when they can use their own devices for work.
More than 80% of employees believe that smartphones will become a natural part of the digital workplace in the future, according to IBM. And, a good portion of IT managers agree. According to Cisco, 69% of the managers polled are willing to use BYOD because it saves employees time.
In terms of employee productivity and satisfaction, BYOD is an effective benefit.
What Benefits Does BYOD Bring to Companies?
Just providing a benefit to employees probably wouldn’t be enough motivation for companies to adopt BYOD as quickly as they have. There are real benefits for employers, also.
This is one of the big benefits companies experience. According to a Frost & Sullivan study, the use of personal devices at work saves employees 58 minutes per day. This translates into a 34% increase in productivity.
These numbers make sense because employees are familiar with their own devices. There’s no learning curve as there would be with using the company’s choice. Along the same line, employees don’t need to reorient themselves every time they switch from their own device to a company device. And, as mentioned earlier, BYOD is a chance for the company to improve job satisfaction, too.
Another key benefit is that BYOD reduces the company’s cost to provide equipment to employees. A Cisco report finds that if a company allows BYOD, it can save an average of $350 per year for each employee using their own devices. This type of savings can be helpful to any company, but especially to small businesses or startups. It’s always a benefit when a startup can reduce initial capital outlays.
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A residual cost benefit is also possible because you’ll need less involvement from IT. Employees will take care of and maintain their own devices, reducing the need for support.
BYOD: Implementation Considerations
Whether you allow employees to use personal devices for work, or you’re considering it, you need to implement carefully. It makes sense to realize all the benefits of BYOD, but you need to be realistic about the issues surrounding implementation.
Consider the risks and ensure that you have policies and technology in place to deal with them. Those risks include
- Employees failing to complete security updates
- Employees using unsecured Wi-Fi connections
- Employee turnover
- Employees losing their devices
It’s important to develop a clear BYOD policy that addresses the issues of who owns which data, required security software, approved devices, procedures for lost devices, and more.
If you have questions about effective BYOD policies and the technology required to support them, consult with an expert who can help you avoid BYOD pitfalls. Contact us to talk to an AnchorSix expert who will be glad to help.