Are BYOD policies efficient?

By CIOReview | Monday, August 6, 2018

Bring Your Own Device  (BYOD), Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT), Bring Your Own Phone(BYOP) refers to the policy wherein the enterprises are allowing their employees to carry their personal devices to the workplace. The discussion over what is more effective for business- BYOD or employer-provided devices is still a question of debate.  A study from the Oxford Economics and Samsung, Maximising Mobile Value: Is BYOD Holding You Back? certifies that employer-provided-devices are better in the long run due to the reduced costs and increased productivity. This raises the question that- how effective is BYOD?

In accordance with the study,  “companies that provide phones to some or all employees see measurable value in terms of productivity, ease of collaboration, and the ability to get the job done in a timely manner. BYOD respondents report lower satisfaction rates with mobile devices as work tools (69% vs. 78% or more for those who provide devices to a significant portion of their workforce).” The study also revealed that organisations that weren't exclusively BYOD  had displayed an increase in productivity and operational efficiency.

In line with the study, organisations that use BYOD policies are doing so, because of the low beginning capital for mobile enablement, but they admitted that providing some or all employees with the devices could prove a better long-term deal. On the contrary, organisations that provide phones to all its employees are generally smaller in number, making it financially easy for the former to provide devices to everyone. In addition to this, there are organisations that provide phones to specific employees and the rest of them uses their own personal devices. Therefore these organisations, that provide mobile facilities to at least 20% of their staff, tend to have a more organised and sophisticated mobile usage and strategies.

There are disadvantages for favouring only BYOD as obtaining benefits in these policies lack maturity.  Only 6% of exclusively BYOD organisation employees have access to all core business systems through their personal devices which makes the productivity of that employee more difficult. As the employee is expected to bring their own device, BYOD organisations have increased the spending on stipends to cover the employee's mobile fees, management solution for the device. Therefore, it is clear that BYOD organisations aren't saving as much as they expected. However, half of the respondents had a view that BYOD was the best approach for employee satisfaction, but the fact cannot be ignored that employer-provided device policies or hybrid policies proved to be more productive and efficient to business overall.

The conception of employees bringing their own device has short-term cost benefits but these policies become more expensive in the long run. Providing mobile facilities to some or all employees brings value to the organisation in many ways. BYOD cannot be stated as an ineffective policy but the organisations must have the full-fledged knowledge about the best mobile device policy.