Capitalising on consumerisation

Capitalising on consumerisation

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is born out of the consumerisation of mobile technologies and our ‘always on, always connected’ society. With advantages for both the employer and the employee, it is crucial to recognise that this isn’t just a trend, it is a change of behaviour and it is happening at speed. According to Gartner, consumerisation will be the hottest topic for IT managers for the next 10 years.

Whether you allow it or not, your staff are bringing their personal devices into the workplace. Employees are keen to use their own mobile devices at work because they are more convenient, easy to use and often the newest technology.

Organisations that are embracing consumerisation are delivering operational cost savings, better productivity, higher employee retention and improved customer service. However, to effectively leverage mobile device management technology for employee owned devices, you will need to take a strategic approach and reach an agreement that both IT and your employees can live with.

Every business has different requirements but BYOD policies stretch far beyond the realm of IT, so considering the following factors is advisable:

Devices: Understand and keep up-to-date with the devices that are attempting to connect to your corporate network both now and in the future.

Compliance: Adhering to legal regulations is one thing, ensuring users comply with your corporate policies means they have to be simple, easy to understand and an element of self-service will encourage their co-operation.

Security: What security measures are needed (passcode protection, jailbroken/rooted devices, anti-malware apps, encryption, device restrictions, iCloud backup)?

Acceptable usage: Define what is acceptable usage for employee devices with corporate data.

Data usage and paying for devices: Should the employee or the business purchase the device and data plan? Is it fairer to share the costs and how will usage be apportioned?

Privacy: What data is collected from employees’ devices? What personal data is never collected?

Usability: Simple enrolments for users and IT, self-service, over-the-air configuration and automatic warnings will all help maximise efficiency for both IT and business users alike.

One size never fits all, but a carefully crafted BYOD policy arms you with the direction you need to manage mobile devices effectively and efficiently.

Consumerisation enables workers to stay connected wherever they are, improving their productivity and leading to higher customer satisfaction. It is also a great way to extend mobile working to employees who may not be eligible for corporate devices.

BYOD is an emerging best practice for giving employees the freedom to work on their personal mobile devices while significantly reducing IT costs, but it will never deliver on these promises of streamlined management and cost savings without a well-written policy and a robust management platform.

If you think BYOD is right for your business, Arrow Business Communications can advise on policy implementation and the right mobile device management tool for your business.

This article was originally published in Business Technology, distributed with The Daily Telegraph, Lyonsdown Ltd.