Letters from the Home Office Volume 9
I recently read an article by Ben Parr in Mashable where he cites a survey by Unisys and IDC on mobility. The survey reports that 87% of companies claim to provide their employees with mobile devices, but over 50% of employees indicate they use their own mobile device(s) for work. This underscores the gulf between corporate evolution and personal communication preferences. It also presents an opportunity for the businesses that still provide their employees mobility devices.
Where I work (the Unify division of Atos), there was a fairly strong reaction when the decision was made to go to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). This was primarily because everybody initially thought we were announcing a BYOB policy. You can imagine the reaction when people brought a nice cabernet to the office and discovered we were talking about iPhones and Galaxies.
Anyway, after the buzz kill, there was a lot of concern regarding the use of personal phones for work. Fortunately at the same time, we rolled out team collaboration (Circuit) which dramatically increased the functionality of the individual devices. With compensation provided for the increased usage, the employees soon realized that merging the usability of their devices with the capabilities of corporate-supplied applications was a boon to productivity.
There are two morals to this anecdote. First, companies can save significant cost and aggravation by converting to an intelligent BYOD plan, provided they incorporate formal controls. Companies like Impact Technologies’ TEM solution offer such controls. Second, what really matters to the users is the ease of use of applications that apply to them. Streaming the right functionality to the right user is more cost effective and productive than a monolithic deployment that requires complex education and compromised applicability.
All of this also underscores the prospects for advanced cloud apps. Consider the implications of investing in only the apps you need, used only by those who need them, and only paying for them for the duration of time the users need them. Basing investments on the user preference/experience looms as a major evolving criteria for businesses looking to maximize productivity.
Peter is married with 3 children and published his first book in 2012. Peter has been with Unify for over 20 years, currently as Vice President – Inside Sales and Sales Support for North America.