Put simply, BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device is a corporate strategy that allows employees to use their own devices (phones, tablets, laptops etc.) for work purposes.

There are a number of benefits of implementing a strategy of this type –

  • It empowers employees to choose the most appropriate device for the work they do
  • Employees become more productive due to the familiarity of their own device
  • Mobile working becomes a lot easier to manage
  • A more gratifying work experience will help your business to recruit and retain the best employees
  • The burden is eased on IT departments in terms of procurement, endpoint management and budgets

In a later article we will focus on the perceived security risks inherent in allowing employees to use their own phones, tablets and laptops but this article is about reducing costs.

There are plenty of companies who allow their staff to supplement corporate-owned hardware with personal devices and some go further and have started to eliminate corporate-owned devices for certain employees who prefer to use their own. In many cases the user will imagesimply list the itemised calls or usage at the end of each month and put through an expense form, as one would if you use your own money or credit card for work-based ‘things’.

In the US (and the figures are reaching similar proportions in the UK), around 90% of companies – regardless of whether they have an official BYOD policy in place – report than some employees – an average of 28% - are already using non-corporate-issued devices for work. This number is only going to grow since it reflects a shift in the nature of the endpoint environment, i.e. employees can choose the right balance of mobility, performance, size and weight for the work they do.

As we’ve mentioned, one of the main benefits to your business of having a coherent BYOD strategy and policy in place is your ability to dramatically reduce your mobile contract costs by having your staff (or departmental budgets) pay either all or part of the cost of the device and its usage. The double-whammy here is that your IT department is no longer responsible for procuring, configuring and supporting an increasingly wide range of hardware from different manufacturers on different operating systems and platforms. This is especially apt where company-owned laptops will cease to be provided.

The cost savings (and related efficiencies) of desktop virtualisation, that is to say a desktop running in the cloud and accessed via a ‘thin client’ on the device of choice, allows companies to make significant cost savings while at the same time account for some or all of the cost of devices for the employees who want to or are eligible to bring their own laptop to work.

In a recent (US-based) survey, 40% of companies that are planning to introduce a scheme of this nature intend to pay a subsidy similar to the cost borne by an IT department

for the procurement and on-going management of a comparable device with another 31% planning to offer some (as yet unknown) level of contribution towards the overall cost incurred by the employee themselves.

Global IT firm Citrix who have implemented a BYOD policy that amongst other things allows employees to replace corporate devices with their own suggest that year-on-year savings will amount to between 18-20% and includes both the hardware as well as the OS and the maintenance and warranty contracts. It also makes clear who is liable for costs incurred outside the corporate firewall, whether via 3G, public Wi-Fi connections or home broadband.

Naturally, there are significant pros and cons associated with allowing your employees bring their own devices into the office and mobile working environment but it’s safe to say that real-time savings can be made. All you need to do now is talk to the experts and we’ll explain everything you need to know.