You don’t have to go caress a crystal ball to know where we are going with the influx of devices that users will now own and use at work. By 2016, more than 200 million personally owned smartphones and tablets would enter the workplace. The ubiquitous iPad is already present in almost 94% of the Fortune 500 companies. There’s another parallel trend too, if you will: while black PCs were all that you could see in corporates (97% to be precise), Windows now barely have about 20% market share.
According to Tom Kaneshige of CIO.com, the demand for BYOD is clearly driven by employees throughout the world. Alluding to a Cisco Internet Business Solutions BYOD report, at least 50% of the employees (out of 2400 users surveyed) prefer BYOD to corporate devices. While they are at it, these passionate mobile users put money where their words are: each user spends an average of $965 to purchase their own devices while spending another $734 per year for mobile, voice, and data plans. In another find from the same report, an average BYOD aficionado would require at least $2200 signing bonus to jump to a company that doesn’t support flexibility and use of mobile or BYOD policies.
BYOD, if you haven’t got it yet, is a clear employee choice.
As for BYOD markets, the U.S is the largest market with about 71 million BYOD devices already in use and this is expected to grow to 108 million by 2016. By then, China would have emerged as a competing leader with about 166 million devices by then.
What about productivity and efficiency at work?
Companies frown on BYOD for more or less the same reasons: lack of security, vulnerability of data, employee productivity, etc. These issues, however, haven’t come up just because of BYOD; they have been around for a long time now. While the exact impact of BYOD on data security, employee productivity, and workflow efficiency is still vague, the Cisco survey above has some revealing statistics: an average BYOD worker saves 81 minutes each week because they have been using their own devices. Moving beyond U.S and stretching across a few other counties, the time gain averages at 37 minutes.
Jump a bit higher to the hyper-BYOD user curve and the productivity gains are more startling: 36% of users gain at least 2 hours per week, and 21% gain a whopping 4 hours per week. Everything isn’t roses and candles though; a good 15% of BYOD users actually bleed time and remain unproductive when they use their own device.
Yet again, it’s back to employee choice, employee scrutiny, flexible BYOD policies, and an active management approach that seems to reward businesses.
We believe – just as Cisco does based on the survey – that letting employees the flexibility to choose from BYOD to corporate devices while monitoring BYOD use, productivity, and efficiency will help businesses in the long run.
We strongly believe that while BYOD is a raging trend, businesses must take a call – followed by rigorous implementation and policies – if they hope to squeeze any commercial gains out of it.
What’s your take on BYOD? What do you think?