It has become inevitable for many enterprises to adopt bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies in order to keep up with employee demands for flexibility and additionally, to maintain a competitive edge in today's fast-paced mobile workforce. However, as firms increasingly embrace BYOD, new challenges have arisen that can hinder success, such as interoperability between devices and data security. Experts agree that with a sufficient unified communications (UC) system, organizations can reap the rewards of these policies without the associated risks.
Wired Magazine reported that according to a recent Trend Micro study of corporate decision-makers, the major factors driving BYOD initiatives are promises of increased productivity. And while many leaders continue to express concerns about allowing staff to access or store sensitive company information on their personal devices, the source was adamant that these programs don't have to be complex.
One of the major benefits of BYOD is that when employees bring their own laptops, smartphones and tablets into the workplace, a business can significantly reduce their hardware costs. A CIOInsight study found that BYOD companies can save an annual average of $1,000 per employee just from service costs.
Wired cited Intel as an example of a company that has seen dramatic impact from its BYOD initiatives. Computerworld reported that the company had 23,500 devices which supported 41 mobile apps in its BYOD program at the end of last year, and as a result, generated productivity gains of 5 million hours, or roughly 57 minutes per employee workday, according to the source. Wired revealed that Intel uses applications such as instant messaging systems to boost the effectiveness of its BYOD program.
Easing BYOD management
IT News Africa also pointed to the advantageous flexibility that BYOD inherently provides. However, the source noted that many companies have become overwhelmed by running a wide variety of operating systems on their network, which raises integration, management and security worries. As each manufacturer has implemented customizations to the platform, it has become challenging to ensure that any device entering the corporate network will integrate smoothly with the existing protocols and systems. The news provider emphasized that to address the obstacles around BYOD, enterprises must be able to provide support for UC solutions, which can help to address collaboration issues across devices.
Further, the source asserted that when it comes time to select a solutions provider for thee services, it's important to consider the range of offerings available. Integration services can ensure a seamless transition, and furthermore, an optimized end-user experience for all employees participating in these programs.