If you're looking to throw a quick and cheerful party inviting your friends and family with the old standby BYO ("bring your own") can be the way to go. Of course, depending on the circle of friends, it can also result in a few targeted jokes aimed at the host for being a penny pincher.
Now we're hearing about BYO in business and the reality is far different. People want and prefer BYO for business, and don't mind forking out money for their own devices. Why?
According to global research conducted by Citrix with YouGov and ResearchNow, bring your own device (BYOD) is rapidly taking hold in business as employees prefer to use their personal mobile devices rather than standard-issue company ones. Coming from a company with a BYOD policy, it is encouraging to see others embracing this trend.
Conducted with 1100 small and medium size businesses, the study revealed more than 45% of businesses surveyed allow employees to use personal devices for work purposes. The same research found that over 36% of businesses are seeing increased pressure to adopt more flexible workplace practices. These results show that employees are increasingly looking to work on their terms - with devices and organizations that integrate personal lives to a greater degree.
Providing this flexibility pays off - the companies who support BYOD reported a 25-35% increase in productivity. In some cases, BYOD can also help reduce capital expenditures.
However, the survey revealed a note of caution for business leaders. An overwhelming 62% claim they do not have controls in place to manage BYOD devices. This is an alarming statistic for all companies to note. Allowing confidential data on an employee's personal device that doesn't adhere to security policies poses a huge risk not only to your business but to the employee's personal data.
So if the BYOD trend is truly the wave of the future and you have employees already asking for it, what can you do to ensure it doesn't compromise your business? Here are a few suggestions:
Let me leave you with one final suggestion: make a plan soon. With the gift giving and receiving season upon us, employees will likely show up to work on January 2nd with the latest and greatest in tablets and mobile devices. Now may be an opportune time to consider what your BYOD strategy will be and to share that with your teams. The most important aspect of BYOD is communicating with employees what your plan and policies are and how they can engage and support the program. If the survey results are any indication it will pay dividends to your business in 2012!
Happy New Year!
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