An increasingly IT literate workforce is demanding access to the best tools for their job. They’re now far more aware of the platforms and devices available to them, and as a result, businesses (and more importantly, IT teams) are feeling the effects. Previously there’s always been a bit of reluctance to set up an official BYOT scheme. Now, there’s no denying that it is here to stay; in a Gartner survey on the consumerisation of IT, 85% of respondents said that employees are demanding access to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
However, regardless of whether you decide to let employees bring in their own smartphone, or supply them as part of a shared purchase scheme, understanding the benefits is a good place to start…
1. Control costs
Let’s be frank, this is always going to depend on the type of scheme you opt for. Some companies expect employees to buy and maintain their own devices, which is cheaper in the short term but can lead to you having to support a lot of different platforms and devices. To maximise productivity and minimise trauma to their tech support teams, many IT Directors opt to use a shared purchase or salary sacrifice scheme. This allows them to set up a list of IT-approved devices for employees to choose from (so all of them can be supported easily in-house) and insist on certain basics, like good security software and plenty of RAM.
Whichever scheme you go for, you need to factor in support costs and data plans (which can both be offset to the employee to save money), and whether or not your existing infrastructure and network are equipped to take on more devices (which may affect the amount you’ll spend in the short term).
2. Improve productivity
What’s not to love? Your employees get to work on a device that they are comfortable with, they have access to all of their work outside of the standard nine to five, and there’s no need to spend a fortune on hardware. That’s especially true if the IT environment is properly supported, giving everyone access to office files and email from anywhere. We’re not trying to turn your employees into caffeine-guzzling technozombies, but you are likely to find them checking their email out of hours on their smartphone or finishing a proposal when they get bored of Corrie.
3. Retain employees
Citrix state that one of the main reasons businesses are choosing to invest in BYOT schemes is to attract and retain employees. By letting people work on the platform of their choice (without actually having to provide that device) and actively promoting the use of technologies such as Apple’s iPad, you are more likely to be seen as a forwardthinking company, upping productivity and employee satisfaction without making things too complex for your IT team (although we’d recommend asking employees to take out support contracts for any devices they intend to use at work).
4. Drive innovation
This is one of the benefits you hear less about, but is actually often one of the main driving forces behind companies adopting BYOT and shared purchase. Companies tend to find that as users embrace technology they’ll find new uses for it, and can find (or develop) additional content that helps improve the way the business works. Once you’ve got a mobile device or computer that you’re comfortable using, new applications for it are discovered much quicker. Just take a look at The Guardian’s story to see how technological changes were the main driving force behind their employee iPad scheme.
5. Minimise helpdesk calls
There are two aspects to this. On the one hand, if employees are using their own devices, you have the option to choose not to support the devices for any problems that don’t directly affect its ability to connect to your corporate systems. On the other, you’ll have a workforce who are all far more aware of how their device works and are happier to do basic troubleshooting than they would be on a company-owned machine. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it…
Want to find out more about how we can help you with BYOT and shared purchase schemes. Take a look at our Apple for business services. Alternatively, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com to discuss how your business would benefit.