Recently we discussed the benefits and impact Social CRM practices are bringing to the workplace (if you missed it see LINK HERE). One related consequence of this explosion of enterprise social technology is the strengthening of the Bring Your Own Device movement (BYOD), which is picking up speed at such a pace that it has led Gartner to predict that by 2017 half of US businesses will require workers to supply their own tech devices for work purposes (http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2466615).
Undoubtedly BYOD is a scary, even unthinkable prospect for many, fearful of a weakened position on key issues such as information ownership rights, security concerns in relation to confidential/sensitive commercial data and even the possibility of a loss of productivity from employees free to install Angry Birds on their mobile devices or World of Warcraft on their laptops.
That is why it is essential to a) be prepared in your policies and practices and b) be able to trust your fieldworkers to remain professional at all times, as the benefits of BYOD greatly outweigh those risks, particularly when working within these concepts.
Deloitte recently weighed in on the issue with a study that showed BYOD actually makes your employees happier, and even reduces staff churn (http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Norway/Local%20Assets/Documents/Publikasjoner%202012/Deloitte_bring_your_own_device_092112.pdf).
It is considered a perk by the majority, especially when the employer makes a financial contribution towards the latest devices, and actually leads to less outdated tech putting the brakes on workflow processes – employees in general remain on top of new technology (and take greater care of it), and it can even reduce the burden on budgets of needing to upgrade an entire workforce in one hit.
That’s not to say there aren’t risks – have a look here to see examples of where blurring the lines between work and home life has had unforeseen consequences: http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/16-humiliating-twitter-brand-fails-one-painfully-hilarious-chart-148170 - but these are traps that can be easily avoided with correct planning, policies and education prior to roll-out.
Enable’s experts are all fully in agreement on this – the days of crusty old hand-me-down laptops and cracked screen Blackberry’s, still worryingly sticky from ‘that time their 3 year old dunked it in the jam-pot’, are coming to an end as employers and employees begin to collaborate to arm the workforce with the latest and greatest devices, refreshed on a much more suitable schedule.
And we will all be happier, more productive and (potentially at least) save money in the process.
Isn’t that the very definition of a win-win?
Now is undoubtedly the time to start thinking about how such a policy would roll-out in your business if it hasn’t yet, because the future is already knocking on the door.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!