The Ugly Truth About BYOD

When the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend first took off it was hailed as a fantastic opportunity for the enterprise to save money and increase productivity, without negatively impacting morale.

What business could resist such a proposition? Unfortunately, in practice the BYOD trend has fallen short of expectations in some areas and caused unforeseen problems in others. This is the ugly truth about BYOD.

A world of benefits

Back in 2013, Gartner predicted that half of employers would require employees to supply their own device for work by 2017. Analyst David Willis summed up the mood when he said, “The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs.”

The BYOD trend does offer greater flexibility, allowing employees to work anywhere and at any time. Analysis from Cisco claimed BYOD employees were gaining a global average of 37 minutes of productive week, each and every week.

In theory, employees are more satisfied because they’re using their own devices. There’s no learning curve, and they can work and play on devices they chose themselves, not something IT provided.

Perhaps the biggest carrot for the enterprise was the prospect of reduced costs. No more device lifecycle management, less training cost, and reduced complaints. That same Cisco report put the value per mobile employee for basic BYOD in the U.S. at $950 per year, rising to $3,150 per year in a comprehensive BYOD environment.

The problem is that all these predictions and reports cast BYOD in a favorable light without considering the hidden costs. These are the benefits if you implement BYOD properly and nothing goes wrong.

The trend also quickly leapt from a singular device strategy to an expectation of any-device-anywhere, hinged on applications and containerization. Users just wanted choices and a break from the traditional office concept, but the market outpaced the hype.

What can go wrong?

Now, many businesses are finding that the reality is not what they signed up for. IT has a headache in terms of installing applications, sustaining interoperability with multiple platforms, catering for a proliferation of devices and configurations, and providing support.

For CIOs maintaining oversight of data, ensuring compliance, meeting regulatory requirements, and enforcing security policies is equally challenging.

The expected cost savings are also being eroded. There are hidden costs associated with expense report processing, and the alternative approach of paying stipends often leads to over-paying. Personal service contracts aren’t optimized for business.

Employees take devices and phone numbers with them when they leave. Enterprise mobility management (EMM) solutions and BYOD policies require investment and legal input.

There are thorny issues to tackle in terms of user privacy and work-life balance. Fear of data loss has prevented many companies from coming fully onboard with BYOD, and without a complete strategy for managing it, realizing and maximizing the benefits can prove difficult.

Doing BYOD the right way

There’s no going back. The genie is very definitely out of the bottle with BYOD. But we shouldn’t be trying to go back anyway, because the benefits that sold BYOD in the first place can still be realized if you take the right approach. You need to consider five key elements from the outset:

  1. Organizational buy-in
  2. Solid requirements
  3. Realistic vision
  4. Appetite for change
  5. Robust BYOD policy

Everyone has to understand what BYOD can deliver and sign up to a realistic plan that doesn’t assume everyone will be in the bucket. Security and compliance with privacy and data residency laws will be close to the top of most lists.

It’s important to find an EMM solution that provides a secure container for data and prevents it from leaking, regardless of the device and personal software that any individual employee is using.

A digital platform like Citrix Enterprise Mobility Management has the holistic approach that’s required. It can be integrated into your existing systems to provide a secure environment for increased productivity and delivered as a cloud-based utility model for low-risk and instant economies of scale through EMM Cloud providers.

You also need qualified IT professionals and a smart CIO to manage your BYOD policy effectively. Employees have to be educated about company expectations, but don’t leave the oversight and control you need to trust – get a digital platform in place to guarantee it. You may have to spend in the short term to lay the foundations for longer term savings.

Too many enterprise players weren’t realistic about what BYOD could deliver, or they implemented it without thorough planning or expectations. Take a step back, build a consensus, research your options, and build a balanced strategy that will deliver, and you can ensure that the reality doesn’t disappoint.

The post The Ugly Truth About BYOD appeared first on Darkmatters.

Source: Dark Matters

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