The BYOD Disconnect – Missing the Win-Win

By IAITAM

Having a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program in an organization has become something of an “old hat” for mobile assets. However, BYOD programs have had varying degrees of success even though they are present in the majority of organizations across the world. The issue that remains is that IT executives and employees disagree on many important aspects of BYOD.

BYOD is essentially an IT service provided to end-users in exchange for the expectation of increased productivity and reduced cost. Basic ITSM (IT Service Management) principles apply; the IT service should give end-users what is needed to make their jobs easier. Apparently, that is not the case.

A recent study done by International Data Group (IDG) at the behest of Samsung Mobile delved into the diverse perception issues surrounding BYOD and potentially reducing the effectiveness of the program. The analysis examined areas of contention from the employee and IT decision maker viewpoints. Some of the findings are:

  • 85% of organizations have decided to officially adopt and support a BYOD program
  • More than 70% of IT professionals feel BYOD is a competitive advantage
  • 49% of IT executives feel accessing company productivity solutions is the most important element of BYOD while only 28% of employees agree
  • For employees, sharing large data files is most important to them at 43%. Only 23% of IT decision makers agree
  • The only area of agreement was on security with 84% of IT executives and 75% if employees listing it as a top concern

(http://www.samsung.com/us/article/bridging-the-gap-bring-your-own-device-to-work)

Obviously, the disconnect of expectations and perspectives between groups is causing headaches for BYOD initiatives. A proactive approach is the easiest way to solve this problem. Here are a few strategies:

  • When implementing a BYOD program, clarify the strategic need and goals for the program. If the impetus for implementation comes from executive management without explanation, use monetary value to guide decisions. By explaining things in terms of ROI or TCO, most C-level executives will understand the initiative better
  • Establish parameters for devices and applications before a BYOD program is put in place. Having an open BYOD program in an organization is a recipe for disaster on many fronts. Establishing which applications, file sharing and devices are allowed creates a more comprehensive and cost-effective help desk. This is beneficial to both the employee and the organization. There are a lot of cross-platform applications that function well on different devices
  • Actively listen to employees participating in the BYOD program to gather feedback on the changing technologies available as well as the needs of the employees. The cost of the BYOD service is only offset by increased employee efficiency and satisfaction
    The key element is to think of the BYOD strategy as a win-win situation. If the organization is not seeing a reasonable ROI because parameters are set too loosely, or the employees are not seeing the benefit because what is being offered is not what they need, than the value of the investment in a BYOD program is lost. Keep it focused and goal-driven to best complement the organization and the employee.

About the Author

The International Association of IT Asset Managers (IAITAM) is the largest organization providing education, certification and thought leadership to the management of IT as a business. IT Asset Management is the management of hardware, software, mobile and other technology to maximize the value to the organization.