Smartphones, tablets and laptop computers are staples in nearly every office and industry worldwide. However, a growing number of today’s employees are choosing or being asked to bring their own personal devices to work as opposed to using similar electronics only in the workplace. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement allows workers to conduct business in the office or an off-site location using devices owned by employees or purchased by their employers.
Although mobile communication companies like BlackBerry have been offering BYOD services for several years, companies that are finally embracing the trend are still in their infancy stage when it comes to deploying a strategy. But adopting a BYOD policy offers significant benefits to those companies struggling to keep up with technological advancements without ruining their bottom lines.
How BYOD Is Changing the World of Business
BYOD is taking the business world by storm. Gartner, Inc., an IT research and advisory company, reported in a global survey that within a few short years, roughly 38 percent of companies will require employees to use their own personal devices at work. By 2020, that number is predicted to grow to 75 percent in most organizations.
BYOD Benefits in the Workplace
There are several advantages of implementing a BYOD policy in the workplace including giving employers more flexibility to build an amazing team of employees. Other benefits include:
1. Saving Companies Money on Hardware, Software and Support
By having workers use their own smartphones, tablets or notebooks instead of company-owned electronics, businesses can save money. They no longer have to purchase as much office hardware, software, device maintenance and support and miscellaneous licensing fees. Most workers own several of these devices anyway, so why not let them use gadgets they are already familiar with.
2. Providing Competitive Edge Over Other Companies
From a business standpoint, having a BYOD strategy in place can help attract and retain employees who want flexibility in their daily work schedules or who wish to telecommute.
3. Increasing Employee Productivity
In a report released by Dell Software, almost three-fourths of businesses worldwide that have BYOD policies in place have seen an increase in customer response time and productivity. About half of these same businesses reported that they wouldn’t be as competitive without this type of strategy in place. Also, workers who use their personal devices typically spend more time working off-site such as at home or other remote locations.
4. Freeing Up IT Departments
Technical support is always going to be needed in a company, but BYOD allows a simpler infrastructure because employees are accountable for their own devices including upgrades, insurance and other concerns. This allows IT departments to focus on other strategic initiatives.
5. Providing Employees Flexibility
BYOD gives employees a chance at more flexible work schedules, allowing them more time with their families and other personal duties. With flex time and telecommuting becoming more common, those who normally work a 9-5 day are finding themselves working from home at different hours of the day or night. This also means that some employees are on call outside the office, but they can communicate with others no matter the time zone or hour.
A successful BYOD strategy works well if guidelines are in place and outline exactly what is expected of both the employer and employees. This should include a definition of what is acceptable and not acceptable use and detailed security measures used to protect company data and documents. Employers must also get written consent from each employee allowing them access to the personal devices. Employees should understand that there may be some monitoring of their devices from time to time.
If companies want to stay ahead of the latest movements, it’s time they adopt a BYOD policy of their own.