By Jessica Oaks
The bring your own device trend (BYOD) has gained much popularity throughout the last few years, and it’s no surprise why. The movement has many benefits, such as increased innovation and productivity, ease of collaboration, and anytime access for employees who are clocking in at all hours of the day and night. But for many companies what makes BYOD so appealing is simply the bottom line. It's a potential money saver, even with the added cost of mobile device management (MDM) to keep things running smoothly. And as expenses go, that doesn't have to be a particularly big one.
BlackBerry's BES10, for instance, is one of the most affordable MDM solutions out there. Allowing employees to work on their own devices is now feasible–even for smaller companies–from a security and administration standpoint. This accessibility may be why research and advisory firm Gartner has predicted that at least half of white collar employees in the United States will be using their own devices for work by 2017.
As for how BYOD can save a company money, it's about more than just the devices IT no longer has to buy (or the ones they do buy that end up wasted). There are several ways BYOD is already making doing business less expensive.
Employees handle their own upgrades
Outfitting employees with the latest tech takes time–days or even weeks can go by without projects being touched while IT installs and then tweaks it all. BYOD streamlines the process, saving on IT costs whether there's a company-wide shift or new members of a team coming on board. And don't ask whether workers will upgrade; ask when
. The answer is roughly every 22 months for cell phones
and often more frequently for devices like tablets, so a regular influx of new gear is almost guaranteed with no price tag attached.
Less waste means fewer unnecessary expenses
With employees handling things on the device side, there's almost no chance a company will invest in tech that never gets used. Cloud-based server expenses are much easier to customize because plans can be changed on the fly based on evolving needs. While ongoing subscription costs do replace the cost of devices and software licenses, they tend to be lower in the long-term.
Greater comfort = Fewer training costs
Training costs go way down when employees are utilizing technologies with which they are already comfortable. In some cases companies may be able to get at least a handful of workers up and running with no training at all so projects aren't delayed by training time. A related side benefit is that when a coworker evangelizes about a piece of tech or an app, other employees will almost always be more comfortable adopting it.
Better employee retention
More give when it comes to telecommuting and flex time (thanks to BYOD) is bound to result in happier employees and consequently fewer expenses related to HR. It turns out, though, that BYOD without those particular benefits still results in happier staff. Global consulting firm Deloitte
found that workers at companies with established BYOD policies were more satisfied than any other employees
Although half of U.S. companies are expected to implement a BYOD policy by 2017, there’s no need to wait until then. Companies can roll out the policy now and start saving green immediately.
Image credit: Flickr/PresseBox.de
Jessica Oaks is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.