The Bring Your Own Device trend may present a golden opportunity for employers, says Sage One UK and Ireland head Simon Hodgkins, but there can be hidden costs and difficulties…
Bring your Own Device (BYOD) can provide golden opportunities for companies looking to modernise, mobilise and take advantage of the cloud – however BYOD itself is not a quick solution to all business device issues.
That said – with employees preferring to use the devices they choose, and the fact that employers really have no say in policing BYOD, it’s a growing consumer trend that cannot be ignored. With flexible working, remote access and mobile technology, it’s easier than ever for employees to access and communicate in real time – and this is a plus for employers.
By shifting the hardware cost to the user, the model allows firms to significantly reduce technology costs. Personal familiarity with personal devices means people are able to complete tasks quickly without training, taking advantage of a cloud infrastructure that is already in place.
However, there are some negative aspects of BYOD.
Firms should take note that it is supremely important for staff to have the right tools to do their jobs effectively, and in some cases this can only really be achieved if the IT department fully manages the devices used by employees to ensure uptime, security and compliance. There can be a number of hidden costs and difficulties associated with the scheme.
Take into consideration the influx of additional devices on the company’s infrastructure. Network performance can suffer and ultimately mean that you need to upgrade to manage the change in access type and usage.
Businesses need to consider whether their enterprise applications can actually run on a BYOD policy – the majority simply aren’t configured for it, yet.
And who pays for the device usage? If a business only wants to pay for work-related calls and data, it puts a large burden on the company’s finance team who will validate claims. This makes it much more of a challenging to forecast and manage cash flow. Although perceived as more of a challenge for smaller firms, consider the impact on companies with thousands of employees like Sage.
Businesses need to ensure they consider every facet of the issue before making any decision around BYOD. There is no doubt that this is the future. Having access to the right support in order to guide you through the transition is essential.
About the author
Simon Hodgkins is head of Sage One UKI. www.sageone.co.uk