Acronyms are a dime a dozen; so call it what you will… BYOD…BYOT…BYOX…BYOA…we’re talking about a tool you use to do your job. Bring your own device (BYOD) gives employees the opportunity to use the device that best suits their needs. Whether it’s your mobile phone, iPad or laptop, choice often equals increased employee morale and productivity. While the drivers for the employee are clear, does a BYOD program make sense for the enterprise?
Let’s take a look at the reasons why BYOD can be good for your business:
1) Productivity – According to a recent study by Dell, many companies believe they gain a competitive advantage by allowing their employees to use their own computing tools. The survey identified several areas of increased employee gain: more flexible working hours, ability to foster creativity, innovation, more teamwork/collaboration and increased morale.
2) Morale – Allowing a person to make his or her own choices can certainly contribute to an increase in morale. The idea is that if I can use the device and operating system that I choose, I’ll be happier and more motivated. While happiness doesn’t necessarily equate to an increased employee contribution, fostering a work environment where individuals are allowed to express themselves and decide on the form factor and brand of communication device they use results in increased commitment to the organization.
3) Cost savings for the organization –
- Hardware –When it comes to making the transition from company provided/supported technology to embracing a BYOD approach, there are two schools of thought. One is that the organization pays each “mobile” employee a stipend (usually on a per year basis) to cover the costs of providing their own computing device for job related activities. The other is to allow employees to use their own devices in addition to company provided computing devices.
- Software – Site or per-processor licenses typically don’t work when employees use their own devices. Licensing regulations vary by industry, so it is good practice to research rules related to your industry.
While the management of software licenses can be challenging, adopting an approach that utilizes an integrated enforcement platform combining network access control along with MDM/application management tools can provide control and visibility of software on employee devices and on the network.
- Support – Employees with their own devices will need to seek support from the hardware manufacturer or other resource. This frees up the IT desktop/laptop support team to focus on other strategic tasks.
4) Improved teamwork and collaboration – The support of BYOD encourages an open environment of interaction with the new technology.
For further reading on BYOD best practices, see SAP’s whitepaper “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policy Guidebook.” And to get information on how Forescout CounterACT helps secure BYOD by giving IT network security administrators the ability to automatically enforce network access policies on employee owned devices see solutions.