Mobility and BYOD continue to change the way enterprises do business and the way employees work within those businesses, with mobile applications, personal clouds, and mandatory BYOD becoming increasingly common within the workplace. Of course, enterprises won't adopt any technology without some sense of its business value. When it comes to BYOD, much of that business value comes from the way it enables communication and collaboration. Collaboration is a vital component to any business's success, and BYOD significantly increases the vectors of collaboration and reduces the cost of many enterprise collaboration technologies.
One of the most common misconceptions about BYOD is that it is expensive—perhaps prohibitively so. And it's true that a solid BYOD infrastructure and rollout aren't cheap. When you think about the cost savings and productivity benefits of BYOD for collaboration, however, an argument for making the investment emerges.
Not too long ago, communication and collaboration within enterprises—especially larger ones—required a rather large cash outlay. Video conferencing meant buying pricey room systems and even pricier dedicated video conferencing infrastructure for the data center. For security purposes, emails could only be accessed and checked on company-owned, company-controlled devices. Cell phones were company-owned, too—usually BlackBerries.
BYOD for collaboration reduces many of those costs and eliminates the rest. Skype, Zoom, Vidyo, Blue Jeans, and other cloud- or software-based video conferencing services typically don't require any dedicated infrastructure on the client end and work on the vast majority of consumer devices. Similarly, newer encryption gateways and services liberate corporate emails from corporate devices. And allowing employees to use their personal phones for business purposes reduces the burden of procurement, maintenance, and voice and data plan expenses for companies.
What does all of this add up to? The simple fact that BYOD for collaboration enables employees to connect to each other from anywhere, at any time, at less cost to the enterprise. Enabling employees to connect so freely means that they can collaborate on the fly, whenever trouble hits or inspiration strikes, speeding up the pace of innovation within an organization. Additionally, allowing employees to connect using devices of their own choosing can raise satisfaction and engagement. And that's not even getting into the perks of telecommuting. Cisco found that while BYOD can save between $300 and $1,300 per employee, telecommuting can save companies an average of $2,500 per employee. Imagine the infrastructure and overhead savings of telecommuting with BYOD!
As you can see, there's a compelling case to be made in favor of BYOD for collaboration. Companies can not only save money, but increase engagement and productivity, both critical qualities to foster in employees. If you're looking for ways to sell BYOD to your customers, therefore, collaboration is a strong place to start. And if you're unsure about any of the specific technologies that can enable BYOD for collaboration in the enterprise, look to your distributor for product information, trends, solutions, education, training, and technical support.
What benefits do you see in using BYOD for collaboration? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.