These days, mobility and BYOD are commonplace, even in more traditionally technologically cautious industries like financial services, in which more than half of workers already use mobile devices for business purposes. Much has already been made of the cost savings and employee satisfaction benefits of BYOD. But what about the effects of BYOD on collaboration? As you discuss BYOD with your customers, you may find it helpful to talk to them about how a BYOD strategy can enhance the way their employees connect, communicate, and collaborate.
Improved employee availability
How many people do you know who actually enjoy having to carry around multiple smartphones or laptops so that they can have both their personal and their corporate devices accessible? Probably not many. But how many people do you know who actually feel comfortable using a corporate device for whatever internet browsing, video streaming, or personal communication they'd normally reserve for their personal devices? Again, not many. This means that at some point, employees must either resign themselves to the burden of multiple devices, or ditch one of those devices during off hours for convenience's sake.
Most will choose to ditch a device, and most will choose to ditch the corporate device. And what that means is that at some point, an employee will not be available through business channels.
What if an issue arises outside of business hours, and not all members of the team are available to collaborate on a solution? The solution will go unresolved until business resumes. Not ideal.
A BYOD strategy can solve this problem. While many workers might ditch their corporate phones after hours, most people do keep their personal smartphones turned on—and on-hand—after hours. This means that if their personal phone is also their business phone, they'll remain aware of issues and available for collaboration, anytime and anywhere.
Improved data and application availability
Speaking of availability, a BYOD strategy can also greatly improve corporate data and application availability to workers on the go or off the clock. Thanks to the expense of procurement, the upgrade cycle for corporate-issued devices is often much longer than it is for personally owned smartphones and laptops. Corporate-issued Blackberries and the like may lag behind the technological requirements of newer enterprise software and cloud services, including corporate collaboration services, which often need the robust video and Web browsing capabilities only found on newer mobile operating systems.
Those new collaboration services alone may be worth considering a BYOD strategy. Cloud-based collaboration solutions like those offered by Zoom, Vidyo, and Bluejeans bring video collaboration and mobile screensharing to the enterprise at a fraction of the cost of traditional, infrastructure-based Unified Communications (UC) deployments, so that more employees can collaborate more effectively and more frequently. The business benefits of a BYOD strategy that enables higher availability and encourages more collaboration are significant.
Collaboration is critical to enterprise success, and availability is critical to collaboration. A solid BYOD strategy can empower enterprise employees to become more available for more collaboration, at less cost to the organization. That's an undeniable win-win.
Do you or your customers still have questions around their BYOD strategy? Learn to answer the most pressing questions with our whitepaper on using technology to alleviate BYOD security concerns, or get ideas to build your BYOD business with our BYOD Practice Builder.
How would your customers use BYOD for collaboration? Tell us what you think in the comments.