Mobile devices are key to productivity and communication in the modern workplace.
With the sharp increase in the use of smartphones and tablets in the past few years, effectively managing enterprise mobility has become a critical factor in your organisation’s success.
In a mobile-first world, where a great many Australian employees are using their own smartphones for work, organisations are faced with a tough question: should I supply handsets to my staff or embrace a bring your own device (BYOD) policy?
There are positives and negatives to both options, and the best fit for enterprise mobility in your organisation will depend on many factors, including your size, the business you’re in, and your business priorities.
In this blog, we'll take a closer look at the three biggest factors in the debate – cost, complexity and security – and discuss the implications of both company supplied and BYOD, to help you make a more informed decision.
The cost of devices for enterprise mobility
For many, the most appealing aspect of BYOD for enterprise mobility is that it will cost the business less. Good smartphones and tablets come with a big price tag, and allocating sufficient funds to supply your employees with a modern device might present a challenge.
The prices vary greatly and it’s easy to spend $1,000 per employee to get them up and running. Plus, it’s not only the cost of the devices you need to cover, it’s also the voice and/or data plan, as well as the hardware support for each one.
While saving money is a big reason many organisations choose BYOD for enterprise mobility, this can be short-sighted. If you are reimbursing your employees for work usage on their personal device, you can end up spending more than you would for the same usage on a corporate negotiated plan.
It’s important to be clear from the get-go on who is paying for hardware, air time, data connection, hardware repairs and to include the costs of supporting the device, whether in-house or via a third party Enterprise Mobility Management solution, versus the cost of managing a company owned device.
The complexity of enterprise mobility
Let’s face it, setting up mobile devices for your employees is time-consuming. You need to:
- Research the options to make sure you choose the right device;
- Shop around for the best OS; and
- Negotiate the best plan.
If you don’t have an Enterprise Mobility Management Solution in place there’s the ongoing task of managing, maintaining and providing device support, which can place a considerable strain on your time and resources.
However, as most (if not all) of your staff already have a mobile device that they know and love, it can be difficult not opt to go down the BYOD path. Consider carefully as looks can be deceiving.
Enterprise Mobility Security
These days, security is a top concern for all businesses – not just large organisations and those with sensitive data. And opting for company-owned devices is the safer option for protecting data when viewed by your employees on mobile devices. Allowing your employees to work on unsecured personal devices can be risky, and there’s a chance that your private company data could be misappropriated or breached through ransomware. When you allow your employees to BYOD, you still need to have strict policies in place involving:
- Prohibiting the use of jail broken devices
- Setting strong passwords
- Keeping devices updated with the latest software
- Restricting access to trusted applications.
When you supply and manage company-owned devices you can control the applications your employees use and more readily enforce your company’s mobile policy. You also have the ability to wipe company-owned devices or revoke access to company accounts if there is a risk to security – and you can even do this remotely. Of course, there are options to secure BYOD, however, if security is paramount for your organisation, the case for supporting company-owned devices for enterprise mobility is compelling.
Enterprise mobility: Company-owned vs BYOD bottom line
Whether you opt to provide employees with company-owned devices or encourage BYOD, the number one factor in making it work is good management. Either way, you need a clear enterprise mobility policy that sets out your requirements and expectations for use to protect yourself and your company’s data.
You may choose to handle this in-house, or get help to navigate this increasingly complex landscape. We can help you make right choices for enterprise mobility in your organisation, ensuring your people are connected, and take care of administrating and supporting your organisation’s mobile technology. Mobile devices are critical to your success – so take the time to thoroughly research your options to be sure you find the best fit.
If you are currently weighing up the pros and cons of BYOD vs company-owned to support enterprise mobility, start by assessing your mobile device risk!