Mobile computing, which is seemingly everywhere, is actually still growing. More than half of Americans access the Web through their smartphones or tablets, and that number is expected to increase even more as technology improves, costs decrease, and new devices (e.g., Google Glass and smartwatches) are introduced. Inevitably, the trend to use personally owned devices for work functions will also continue to grow. Bring your own device, or BYOD, is more than just a fad—it’s a business reality that shows no signs of slowing down over the next decade.
BYOD use cases vary from company to company, and obviously, no one scenario is an absolute best fit for every organization. Companies must adapt their BYOD policies and strategies to their specific needs. That said, the opportunities for organizations to expand BYOD are tremendous. Here are eight popular BYOD use cases today’s businesses are not only adapting to, but also are thriving with:
- Text alerts: Though simple at first glance, text alerts utilize BYOD to communicate with employees. Important information, such as where a job site is or if a business is closed because of inclement weather, can be delivered to workers’ cell phones (which don’t necessarily even have to be smartphones) much more efficiently than over landlines or through email.
- Work email access: Among BYOD use cases, accessing company email on personal devices is one that many American employees are using, even if their employers haven’t quite authorized it. Some companies have embraced this trend by recommending or developing email applications for their employees’ devices, or at least instituting policies aimed at protecting sensitive internal information that can now be accessed on a worker’s easily lost smartphone.
- Calendaring and scheduling: As calendars based through internal systems fade into history, scheduling via cloud-based applications has become the norm. Subsequently, work calendars are now effortlessly syncing to employees’ personal devices. A positive response to attending a work meeting will appear on a worker’s smartphone calendar (with reminder alerts) alongside family commitments and other errands already personally scheduled.
- Virtual private networks: Increasingly, BYOD use cases include the ability to access company systems on non-company devices. Sometimes, the software must be installed on the laptop or home PC, but more and more, cloud-based virtual private networks (VPNs) are being used, thus allowing employees with an Internet connection and the right passwords to work remotely
- Portable devices, company systems: VPNs might not work as well on a smartphone or a tablet, but some forward-thinking organizations have turned to specific apps to allow employees to access in-house systems via these smaller devices. Companies are either developing their own programs or turning to mobile device management (MDM) solutions to permit, and also better safeguard, this type of access.
- Personal employee information: With the emergence of BYOD, some employees are now able to view their personal work information online. They can see their paycheck statements, change tax withholding, check on their vacation hours, and so on, remotely. Instead of bothering HR with basic questions, many employees are now able to view this information on their phones and tablets.
- IT adapts BYOD management to employees’ purchases: As far as BYOD use cases go, this is a big step: IT departments reacting to how their employees are using personal devices rather than the other way around. Instead of recommending specific technologies that employees should buy on their own, IT works with those employees so that their devices are in harmony with the company’s systems and policies.
- Organizations abandon most in-house technology in favor of BYOD: So far, the BYOD use cases listed have complemented a company’s own systems. But what if an organization wants to ditch most of its internal hardware in favor of its employees owning their own devices? It’s a bold move, and one that’s not suitable for many companies. Nevertheless, going BYOD-only is where some organizations might be headed to alleviate cost and efficiency concerns in today’s economy.
If your organization is looking to expand or solidify its BYOD strategy, Ingram Micro can offer the solution. Our goal is to help vendors and resellers expand their data centers and big data practices. Contact us for more information.
How much is BYOD a factor at your company?