This post is from the Apperian blog and has not been updated since the original publish date.
Fostering a BYOD Environment
With mobile sales now officially outperforming PC sales -- and 95% of organizations permitting employee-owned devices in the workplace -- it’s pretty clear to those of us in the industry that BYOD is no longer just a trend; it’s established itself as a mainstay in the corporate environment. One of the reasons BYOD has taken off in recent years is that when implemented correctly, it benefits organizations as well as their employees.
BYOD is linked to increased productivity, higher levels of employee satisfaction, and decreased IT costs. According to a research study by Cisco Systems, BYOD solutions save enterprises up to $1300 per employee annually.
However, don’t expect to reap the rewards of BYOD without first taking the time to create and foster a BYOD-friendly environment. This requires a holistic approach that extends beyond developing enterprise apps and enforcing mobile app security policies.
Get to know your workforce
You can’t expect results from any BYOD initiative without first getting to know your workforce. Sit down with managers and employees from different departments to determine what they want to do on their devices. Chances are you’ll uncover opportunities to maximize productivity that you never knew existed. Whether it’s road warriors wanting to streamline expense reports or customer service agents asking for access corporate emails on-the-go, creating solutions and enterprise mobile apps in response to what employees want will go a long way in helping organizations to maximize the full potential of BYOD.
Don’t force it
IT managers need to be careful not to force the issue with BYOD and avoid pushing for rapid mobile app adoption rates. In a multi-generational workplace, expect to see a wide range of different work habits. It comes as no surprise that Millennials are the quickest to adopt BYOD solutions and are especially drawn to social technology. Likewise, employees who aren’t as comfortable wielding an arsenal of gadgets may be a little more hesitant to dive into enterprise apps head first. Organizations should respect these differences in work habits and understand that, in some cases, adoption takes time.
Maintain an open dialogue
Mobile app security is the number one concern IT managers have about BYOD, but they’re not the only ones losing sleep over the issue. Employees have their own worries about the implications of storing corporate data on their personal devices.
While it is vital for organizations to establish security policies to protect sensitive information, it is also important to maintain a level of transparency about such policies with employees. Establishing an open dialogue on the boundaries between personal and corporate data and what the organization expects from its BYOD-ers will help ease concerns on both sides of the fence.
Ensure scalability and sustainability with Mobile Application Management (MAM®)
Like any other IT project, to be sustainable BYOD solutions need to evolve over time to reflect the ever-changing business environment. In order to keep enterprise applications robust, plan for regular maintenance and updates. Centralizing administrative control over apps through mobile application management (MAM®) is the easiest way to keep them up to speed with the needs of the business. A MAM platform places app distribution, security, integration, and content management all within easy reach, allowing organizations to effectively manage their applications in support of a cohesive and productive BYOD environment.