It seems like everywhere you look, your employees are toting around their own smartphones, tablets and laptops, and they’re using them at work whether you want them to or not. Fortinet found that 51 percent of workers ages 21 to 35 didn’t care about what the official device policy indicated and used their devices during working hours anyway. Instead of going against a majority demand by employees to use their own devices, explore the financial advantages that come with BYOD. Saving money on training, hardware and software gives you a way to open up your budget for other expenditures, whether you reallocate that into the IT department or beyond.
The immediate business advantage you realize from BYOD is the fact that you won’t be responsible for purchasing hardware for your employees. Smartphones, tablets and laptop purchasing responsibility may be shifted entirely over to the employee. You’re still on the hook for your desktop workstations, however, and you probably need to cover a few employees whose financial situations make it impossible for them to pick up something such as a smartphone for their mobile office. Cisco reports that BYOD numbers in the office will rise to 405 million by 2016, so you won’t be alone in setting up a BYOD policy for your workplace.
Training and Productivity
One of the best advantages outside of upfront equipment costs is the fact that your employees come pre-trained with their devices. While their use for their devices at home may be far different than what it is at work, they know the basic functions like the back of their hand and how to install software onto the device. If they’ve been working with your business for some time, they are already familiar with the software and applications that you use on workstations, so getting them up to speed on their own devices won’t be a problem.
If you don’t have strict application and software requirements for your business, allow the employees to use whatever they are most familiar with. Your employees will handle the licensing and deployment of the software without you having to get into the middle. When you allow them to use programs they already know, their productivity also rises and helps your business out. Otherwise, you are going to need to get licenses to put your software on the new devices that want to access these essential pieces of software.
One aspect of BYOD you may not be looking forward to is handling support, due to the variety of devices involved. You can handle this a few ways. One way is by limiting the approved devices to a specific set or mobile operating system, so you’re dealing with one type of Android OS instead of five. Another option is to allow users to help each other through wiki pages or a support forum.
Finally, you have the headache of managing a disparate network of devices. Instead of purchasing platform specific solutions, save money by going with something like BlackBerry Enterprise BYOD options. This software is cross-platform compatible and gives you many security features that mitigate the risks of going with a BYOD option within your workplace, through secured apps and virtual desktops.
Lonnie Santos Lonnie is a mobile technology expert for all operating systems. He is currently in the process of getting two blogs started, one specializing in web and mobile app development, and the other in mobile marketing.
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