The emerging trend of BYOD has taken the corporate world by surprise and there are many business owners who are still not quite convinced with the BYOD (Bring your own device) model. Traditional businesses still believe in providing their employees with the desktops and workstations that can be both procured and managed by their in-house IT team. The very idea that smartphones and mobile devices (which once were for personal use only) can be used for official or business purpose sounds a little bizarre to many. But all this does not hide the fact that there are several companies that are successfully using the BYOD model where cloud telephony, thin clients and MDM are fast becoming a way of life.
The concept of BYOD is catching up fast, exciting employees with their new found freedom, and confusing employers with loss of control. IS BYOD that good? What are the issues being faced. Is BYOD inexpensive? Can you run your full office workload on a smart phone or a tablet? Well, the answers to all these questions lies in how you want to use technology with the prevailing business processes in your company.
The concept of BYOD does not sound as exciting as it used to when it entered into the IT lexicon. Companies who had immediately implemented the BYOD model have slowly found out that it has its own limitations and shortcomings, which at times provided more hindrances to business processes and hampered productivity. This does not mean that BYOD is going to fade away into the oblivion; companies will certainly try to accommodate the concept into their broader model of endpoint procurement.
BYOD is an extremely exciting concept wherein employees will be able to bring their own mobile telephony and computing devices to the office. They can easily connect these endpoint devices to the cloud telephony system at office. Cloud storage will replace the ubiquitous servers and desktops. Company executives will be able to work from anywhere by logging in to the central office network. They will be more comfortable by working on their own devices rather than coming to the office and switching on their desktop. Thus, there will be more freedom in the way the employee work which eventually will boost their productivity. A definite positive impact on the bottom line of the company should be the eventual outcome of the new BYOD induction policy.
Well, the reality is a little different from the above where there are instances of many companies that have actually found the BYOD move difficult. The most challenging part of allowing employees to bring their own device is the loss of control. Yes, the company owners do not have any control on the way their employees use their devices and they hardly have a say what is stored on not stored on these devices. Installing management apps on the tablets and smartphones owned by the employees is a big headache as majority of the employees are not comfortable with the idea of installing the apps. Thus, companies find it really difficult to manage the employees who are not ready to do away with the privacy of their devices.
The ownership of the devices also plays a very significant role in determining their use. If the companies are worried about the privately owned devices then they can try out a different model – COPE (Company owned and personally enabled). Under this, the companies can buy the mobile devices and the employees can use it for both their personal work as well official work. Thus, the employees will be equally comfortable working with the company procured devices without affecting negatively affecting the productivity levels or efficiency. BYOD can be given a completely new face by adapting the COPE model.
Michelle Patterson has been working with telecom companies for over 20 years, and is excited with the new IP/VoIP/Cloud Telephony and other systems flooding the market. She is learning as much as she can about IP Telephony, Cloud Telephony, VoIP, Unified Communications, etc.