What is BYOD?

Employees Prefer Using Personal Devices for Work

The BYOD trend, which stands for Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), has continued to grow as more employees prefer using a single device to manage both work and personal information. The desire to use personal communications devices at work has increased as the market for smart phones and tablets have expanded. The tablet market, alone, is projected outpace desktop computers, selling 60% more than PCs through 2015. And, 22% of enterprises are adopting these devices into their businesses, whereas 34% of SMBs are purchasing tablets for employees. Why are these becoming the device of choice? Simply put, cloud applications are making it easier for employees to access all of their data directly from their smart phones or tablets. This is true of web-based business phone systems, as well. Is BYOD good for business?

Advantages of BYOD

When it comes to the integration between personal smart phones, tablets and office phone systems, BYOD can be a competitive advantage for SMBs. BYOD also makes it easier for employees to work remotely, and can improve employee productivity. Taking advantage of the use of employees' personal smart phones and tablets can also help reduce expenses for companies, since they no longer need to provide company-issued mobile devices. Seamless communications from mobile devices is also important for business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Businesses who understand how to implement a BYOD strategy will likely excel.

Potential Risks and Considerations

However, the adoption of BYOD into the workplace can be challenging for IT departments as they must develop policies and security procedures that protect the company. It can also be difficult for companies with limited IT resources to face supporting multiple types of personal devices now being used across the organization. Industry research shows some of the top considerations for businesses incorporating a BYOD strategy:

Top 6 Factors SMBs Should Consider Before Implementing BYOD

  1. Number of remote or telecommuting employees
  2. How much access employees have to priviliged corporate information
  3. Possible regulartory requirements impacting employees use of mobile devices
  4. How to support software application or platform preferences (Windows vs. Mac)
  5. Extent of IT support required for employees
  6. How mobile employees are, including amount and type of travel (international vs. domestic)

Communications Trends

Why consider adopting a BYOD strategy in your business?

  • Three out of five employees today say that they can work as easily remotely as they can in the office. And, with the cost of fuel and airfare being high, more people are opting to work from home or remote locations. Employees need to access their primary data applications as well as their telephony (phone service) from anywhere. Hosted VoIP service enables this as well. Hosted can present an ideal cost model for small businesses that may want to alleviate IT resources and roll their phone system into OPEX. By having cloud-based storage or data, a hosted telephony service, employees can choose to connect to their office phone system via their desktop IP phone, or from their mobile device.
  • SMBs do clearly have an advantage over enterprises when it comes to BYOD. The majority of SMBs report that they are supporting employee-purchased devices, in addition to those that they have acquired. Enterprises typically have invested in a communications plan that may involve an exchange server as well as a commonly deployed communications plan for both business applications as well as their telephony service. To adopt tablets and smart devices to support these applications involves cost and project planning on a large scale. SMBs are more agile and can adopt hosted/hybrid solutions easily to take advantage of these trends and ultimately allow their employees to work where/how they want to work.

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