Don’t Fight Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) to Work

Gartner, a leading research firm, recently conducted a global study on BYOD in the workplace. Their conclusion is that by 2016 a full 38% of organizations will stop providing devices to workers. And by 2017, approximately 50% of employees will bring their own devices to work.

Those are big numbers yet only 22% of CIO’s have made a strong business case for this option.  This tells me that the driving force is going to be CEO’s and CFO’s.

This is a yellow flag because there can be serious consequences including security issues, costly software incompatibilities, and financial ramifications.  The CEO/CFO must work with the CIO and stay engaged in setting strategy, policies and usage standards because by 2016, 20% of BYOD programs will fail due to mobile device management policies being too restrictive.

Security will be a major concern for companies and must be addressed by CIO’s in alignment with CEO’s and CFO’s.  Critical company information — sales data, business plans, customer records, contact information, financials — and more — can be housed on people’s personal devices.  What happens when they leave or are fired?  Ultimately the responsibility will be on the CIO or IT Manager, but the risk affects the entire company.   There are a number of good software packages for mobile security management, you just need to evaluate what devices, systems, and applications you need to manage.

Another big question on BYOD is how to compensate team members for the use of their personal devices.  Subsidies will need to be made for phone, tablet, and laptops that contribute to the team member’s productivity.  To keep things simple a best practices is to offer a partial subsidy to cover the cost to perform their job responsibilities.

Embracing BYOD will make your company more agile, adaptable, reduce costs and make your team more productive.  The upside is huge.  So, don’t fight it or you may lose the opportunity to engage and motivate your team.  Don’t get stuck in the past.  Technology and BYOD are transforming the way we work and communicate.  And it’s adaptation and usage is inevitable.

TAKE THESE ACTIONS NOW:

  • Embrace BYOD
  • Ensure the C-Suite stays engaged in policy setting
  • Retool and educate your IT team for this wave, its coming fast – then may need an attitude adjustment
  • Get outside opinions and recommendations
  • Acknowledge that the meshing of personal and business worlds overlap all day – so focus on RESULTS not TIME

This will save you and your company money and lead to a more satisfied workforce.  Oh yeah – make sure you are leading by example. It’s the best way to encourage adaptation and show you are embracing the coming wave.

I’d love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment or question.