August 30, 2013
rosemary published this at 8:28 am
By Miles Young
One major trend in business now is BYOD, or “bring your own device.” This basically means that employees are responsible for buying and choosing their mobile device. It allows businesses to save money, while keeping employees happy at the same time.
There are also several other business advantages, such as fewer headaches for the IT department, more employee choice and freedom in their devices and a better connection with today’s consumers. Businesses that are newly introducing BYOD do face some roadblocks, but it is worth the effort once the transition is complete. Take a closer look at the advantages to BYOD and what it could mean for your business.
#1: Your Business Saves Money with BYOD
Successful businesses always look for ways to save money. Reducing monthly spend on employee mobile devices is one of the best and easiest ways to do this. In a true BYOD business environment, employees cover the full cost of their devices, including minutes and data usage. This saves businesses thousands of dollars each year. However, most companies offer incentives to employees through discounts or usage stipends, especially at the beginning of the transition.
Only a few short years ago, employees would have complained a lot about BYOD. However, a recent Good Technology State Report shows that 50% of employees are more than happy to cover the costs. This is for several reasons, but the biggest is that it gives them more freedom to choose their own device and upgrade as desired. Many people are dedicated fans to specific platforms, so this allows them to remain loyal to their favorite brand of device. As more businesses turn to BYOD environments for its cost savings, employees will get more used to the idea.
#2: Employees Can Choose the Device They Like
People get very attached to their mobile phones. As a matter of fact, one Mobile Mindset study showed that 73% of mobile phone users admit they would go into a panic if their phone went missing. This obsession is one reason most employees prefer to choose their own mobile device — they have an intimate relationship with it. Everyone has a different preference over the brand of phone they like and what features are must-haves. Businesses can keep their employees happy by allowing them to choose their own mobile device with a BYOD policy.
#3: Businesses Stay on the Cutting-Edge of Technology
Typical smartphone users want to have the latest and greatest technology. This is a major advantage to businesses because employees usually upgrade to the newest phone as soon as they are eligible for an upgrade. This is especially true if you have a younger workforce. Having technology-savvy employees translates to more efficiency for your business, which is why giving your employees more freedom with BYOD is such a good idea.
Additionally, many businesses have spent a lot of money on creating a mobile infrastructure, such as putting business information in the Cloud so it’s easier for employees to get access to. By allowing employees to choose their own mobile device and other gadgets, it encourages them to use the infrastructure your business has spent so much money to create.
#4: Employees Only Have to Manage One Device
With BYOD initiatives, employees no longer have to worry about carrying separate phones for business and personal use. This was a major hassle for employees in the past, and it often meant missed calls because employees only carried their business phones during business hours. With a BYOD environment, your business will have fewer missed calls because your employees will have fewer gadgets to juggle. Plus, the phone will be with them whether they are working or not.
Managing only one device also increases employee productivity, because they only have to get used to one phone. Every mobile phone works a little differently and there is a learning curve, even for technology savvy employees. If your employees are allowed to choose their own device, they will be more motivated to learn how to use it effectively, which has all sorts of advantages to your business. Increased productivity means more profits for your business.
#5: Your IT Department Has Fewer Headaches
If you don’t have a BYOD policy, your IT department probably spends a lot of time fixing mobile phones and plan issues. With BYOD, employees have to seek help about their phones from their cell phone carriers. This means fewer headaches for your IT department and less wasted time. Of course, your IT department still has to find a way to make sure everyone has good security to protect your business information.
All smartphones today have the basic features businesses need, such as access to the Internet and email alerts. So, there’s no reason a business should have to require all of their employees to use the same device, except for security purposes. Your business can make BYOD recommendations about security, such as requiring all employees to use the RIM platform, but there are also other ways to make sure employees have the proper security on their phones. This includes things like requiring two layers of passwords and encrypting all business information. Security is a major issue for IT departments, but policies can be put in place to protect your business.
#6: Employees Care More for Their Device
Another advantage to BYOD is that employees will take better care of their devices if they are responsible for the costs. Your business won’t have to worry about replacing phones or paying for insurance policies related to gadget use and ownership. This saves money and it also means that your business information will be protected with more care.
According to an ARCchart report, 65% of business owners have already transitioned to a BYOD environment or have a plan to transition in the near future, while only 11% have no plans. There are obvious advantages to BYOD if you can successfully get your employees on board with the idea.
Has your business already made the BYOD transition? Do you have any advice for others that want to follow suit? Leave a comment below.