The Financial Benefits of BYOD (Bring your own device)

By Adam Cramden

While the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) trend has come under criticism for exposing enterprise data to security breaches, the trend can be a viable, cost-saving option, if implemented correctly. Learn about the financial benefits behind the trend that’s set to overtake 50 percent of workplaces by 2017, according to Gartner.

BYOD 101

Devices that fall under BYOD can include smartphones, tablets and laptop computers. In a typical BYOD arrangement, employees are responsible for purchasing their own device or bringing the device they already own to work. This replaces the traditional enterprise-supplied device model where employers provide a setup of devices to every employee. Employers may or may not choose to provide a device subsidy for their staff. Companies can roll out BYOD in a few ways. Some may mandate it and take back enterprise laptops and phones. Others may leave it open as an option employees can opt into.

Since it can be challenging for businesses to provide technical support to two or more generations of Apple, Blackberry, Android and Windows devices, you may want to limit the choice of supported devices to one or two. For example, Blackberry’s ‘Bring Your Own Device’ program offers BlackBerry 10 smartphones with separate dedicated personal and work spaces. This way, users can enjoy personal privacy they’re used to and employers can rest assured that enterprise data is protected. If employees choose to use a device that is not on your supported list, they may not be able to enjoy IT support in the workplace environment. Additionally, they may be responsible for implementing their own security measures.

BYOD By The Numbers

BYOD is cheaper for employers, because they can stop investing in the type of on-the-go tech tools that can be replaced by employee devices.

Under BYOD, some costs are easily passed on to employees. Staff may need to purchase larger cell phone plans to accommodate their personal and work data, talking minutes and SMS messaging. Or employees may need to personally purchase apps that you require. Consider offsetting some of these costs through a subsidy or paying for employees to download mandatory apps. This measure of goodwill can will help all employees get behind your BYOD program.

A recent CISCO survey puts BYOD savings in perspective. If employers provide a comprehensive BYOD environment, they can save $1,650 per employee per year. A “comprehensive” environment supports enterprise security through the use of authentication and secure policies and allows employees to choose their device. Even in a basic BYOD environment (where BYOD is allowed but not mandated and no standardized policies are implemented) businesses can save $300 per year per employee. For a quick snapshot into precisely how much money your business could save by jumping on the BYOD bandwagon, use Cisco’s BYOD Assessment Tool.

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