Bring-your-own-device is everywhere. Organizations across the globe are starting to allow employees to use their personal devices for work purposes, scrapping the traditional corporate-liable ownership model for a more flexible, modern approach to mobility. If your organization is on the fence about this transition, this blog is for you. We break down the many benefits of a BYOD policy, ranging from employee satisfaction to cost reduction, which explain why so many organizations have embraced this model over the last decade.
Although this blog focuses on benefits, we would be remiss if we did not touch on the major risk associated with BYOD: security breaches. Many organizations struggle with protecting both corporate data and employee privacy under a BYOD policy, and it’s often a logistical nightmare to keep track of hundreds or thousands of devices across multiple carriers and networks — unless you have a mobility partner at your side. For more information, check out our blog on BYOD security to learn how to best protect your enterprise.
The number one benefit organizations are excited about when it comes to implementing a BYOD policy is the cost savings. According to Gartner, worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.79 trillion in 2019, an increase of 1.1 percent from 2018. Device costs represent a big chunk of an organization’s IT budget, and this chunk is only expected to grow as new technologies make their way into the office.
A BYOD policy allows your employees to pick and shop for their own devices, taking the pressure off your internal team. You can decide whether to offer employee stipends or reimbursements for these devices, or transfer the cost to the employee entirely, depending on how much you want to benefit from the cost reductions associated with bring-your-own-device. Many organizations opt for a tiered approach to reimbursements based on seniority or department, while others introduce BYOD as a benefit to their employees. If you choose the latter, it’s important to have a solution in place that helps employees expense their devices or claim reimbursements for their mobility costs.
Employees Love It
You might be thinking: if I provide my employees with stipends or reimbursements for their devices, I’m going to end up paying more than I did under a corporate-liable mode, because I’m losing out on economies of scale! You’re right. However, in exchange for this cost, you’re providing an amazing employee benefit and contributing to employee satisfaction. So, even in the case where companies are still spending in the same ballpark as compared to the corporate-liable model, they're getting more out of it. To put it simply: few employees brag about their standard-issue, corporate laptop, while many will sing your praises if you’ve partially or fully paid for their brand new iPhone. Plus, if they drop their new phone in the toilet, you aren’t liable for replacing it.
It’s often difficult for organizations to keep up with recent technology launches and trends. With a new iPhone model coming out every year, it would be incredibly costly and time-consuming for companies to continually purchase new devices for their employees to stay up-to-date. A BYOD policy allows your employees to do the shopping, ensuring your organization benefits from new technologies and innovations without burdening your IT team.
BYOD will also likely help businesses become 5G ready. In February, Samsung introduced the S10 5G, its first ever phone that supports 5G, which is set to launch later this year. While many organizations are excited to benefit from the high-speed data transfers made possible by 5G technology, those operating under a corporate-liable model are dreading the costs associated with this transition. On the other hand, organizations that have embraced a BYOD model will likely enjoy a faster, easier, and sometimes cheaper rollout. Employees will be autonomously engaging with 5G technology by purchasing the newest devices, making it easier to fulfill your organizational 5G objectives.
Your Employees Are Already Doing It!
The reality is that your employees are already using their own devices for work purposes, usually without the knowledge of your IT department. A recent Microsoft study found that 67% of people use their personal devices at work regardless of the organization’s official device policy. This trend is known as shadow IT, and it can have a detrimental impact on your IT department’s ability to control and monitor enterprise data.
A BYOD policy allows your employees to use the devices they feel most comfortable with and will help your IT team better manage mobility. Remember when we said security was the main risk associated with a BYOD policy? The only thing worse than a poorly-managed BYOD program is an organization that doesn’t know it’s operating a poorly-managed BYOD program. If you’re seeing employees routinely use their own devices in the workplace, it’s time to seriously consider a BYOD transition, or at least a training to explain to your employees why this practice can be so dangerous.
There are no ifs or buts about it: studies show that a BYOD policy will increase employee productivity. According to BT Global Services, 42% of employees say their productivity has improved since using their own devices as opposed to corporate-owned technology. After all, these are devices they’ve used for years and have around them at all times.
But it gets better. Studies show that employees work more hours and are generally more engaged in the workplace when using personal devices. According to Fliplet, companies gain an extra 240 hours of work per year from employees due to mobile working. While it is important to respect your employees’ work-life balance, many of these productivity gains come from employees that are working remotely or responding to emails on their commute home or in-between meetings. If your organization operates under a billable or hourly rate, think about the monetary value of transitioning to a BYOD policy if you gain just a fraction of those hours per employee simply by letting them use their personal devices.
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If you are interested in transitioning to a BYOD policy, request a consultation with the Sakon team to work with an experienced managed mobility services provider and benefit from our self-service mobility app.