The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend has picked up a lot of steam in recent months and doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon. Technological advances, a growing number of mobile workers, and gadget affordability have all played a role in the takeoff process. In some ways this trend presents cause for concern; an increasing number of employees are sitting in their company's drivers seat and calling the shots in ways they shouldn't be. The device-types supported in a given corporate environment are no longer stemming from the will of the IT director. In many cases the line is being drawn by the employees who are bringing their personal-owned devices to the office.
InfoWorld expert Galan Gruman has made note of common problem areas and provided a few tips for how your organization can derive benefit and forget the troubles:
Gruman insists we can't be naive. From his vantage point, companies have one thing in mind when making the transition to BYOD: money. Increased productivity and satisfaction born of BYOD programs are an added benefit, and that's all. "Their goals are naive, so what should be viewed as a positive outcome isn't. The problem is not that BYOD itself is negative, it's that many companies do it for the wrong reason and don't get what they wanted." To remedy the problem, companies must define clear, concise, attainable goals that cover all aspects of mobility.
Gruman's second point involves the cost of supporting your mobile workforce. The costs of BYOD can add up when mobile expenses aren't managed properly. For this reason, Gruman rejects expensing bills in favor of flat rates. Why? No company could ever rid itself of its mobility costs; the company can always expect to receive requests for compensation of some kind. When this happens, Gruman advises not to allow your employees to fill out expense reports. These will add up from processing fees alone. Instead, companies should add a flat rate or a mobility stipend onto their employees' paychecks each month. That way, they get the money required to pay their wireless bills and the company meets its goal of saving on mobility costs.
How do you BYOD at your company? If you aren't factoring in any of Gruman's advice, why not? Take some time now to think why you are managing your devices the way you are, and decide whether its the best option going forward. If you aren't sure, maybe your workforce is. Perhaps consider sending out a survey to determine what your employees would prefer. After you have your strategy set, make sure you implement it in the most cost effective way you can to attain maximum benefit.