Adapting to the BYOD mind set

A recent report from Ovum revealed that the number of businesses with a formal Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy rose from 57% in 2013, to 69% in 2014. It indicates a major shift in the number of businesses now supporting the use of consumer devices in the workplace. Yet despite this shift, the very same report showed that more than a quarter (27%) of employees continue to access corporate data on their unsanctioned devices – despite the BYOD policies in place.

It begs the question whether investing in BYOD is more hassle than its worth…

Nevertheless we cannot deny that to reject BYOD completely would seem ludicrous when considering all the benefits: cost reductions, increased job satisfaction, and employee retention, among others.

Employees have expectations. And today this includes that they will be able to access everything on one device – preferably their own – be it personal messaging, social media or work activities. BYOD should be seen as something driven by employees, as the ‘norm’ if you like. Rather than debating whether to adopt or not adopt BYOD, therefore, employers should invest their time in planning how they are going to securely support BYOD initiatives.

One of the main issues with many BYOD policies is that, for the most part, they fail to address the employees’ needs. As Ovum’s report shows, less than 20% of those that use their smartphone at work say they are able to access everything they need. What is more, over a quarter say they do not have access to anything. This indicates a massive underestimation in what employees now expect to have on their devices. Equally it has an impact on productivity since employees cannot access the tools they need to do their jobs properly. Businesses need to recognise that email and simple communications tools are no longer enough and in many cases are harder to secure than custom apps. BYOD means new apps and devices are being used across all areas of the organisation and must be supported if a successful mobility policy is to be achieved.

In the long term, businesses may start to need tools to better manage the amount that work encroaches upon employees’ personal lives. With the popularity of flexible working policies, employers should expect to see an increase in demand for control services that support this, such as workspace solutions that restrict access to certain applications depending on time, day or device used.

Although it’s tempting to reject BYOD as too complex to implement or a temporary trend riddled with security risks, and despite the scepticism about its viability, the reality is that BYOD is here to stay, and businesses should do what they can to embrace it.

Read more about this subject in our Ovum Whitepaper – The Mobilisation of Workspace Services. To speak to Getronics about how we can help with your mobile strategy, contact us today.