Some years ago BYOD was thought up as an ideal choice for increasing productivity and saving cost for enterprises and IT companies. After a few years of its popularity we can now review the efficiency of this trend and understand if it was really the next big thing.
Any technology trend starts in the same way: X technology is going to cause a tech revolution. It will change the company, the industry, the country, or even the world. And then the reality sets in. Technology X might change the lives of some people in some organizations, but most of such companies prefer to watch how the technology works for others and then decide whether to implement it or not.
A similar situation was with the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. According to this, employees are allowed to bring their own laptops, tablets, and smartphones to the office instead of their employer buying these devices and maintaining the hardware and infrastructure to support them. With cloud-based services this was and is totally possible. It should have been a win-win situation, where companies save money and employees use the devices they like.
But according to a study by CompTIA, companies are moving away from the primary device method. In 2015, 53% of IT companies said that they’re not using BYOD. In 2013 such report showed that only 34% of surveyed companies are BYOD-free. The study showed that only a small percentage of companies (especially small companies) use BYOD strategy and completely avoid buying devices.
Legal and financial problems with BYOD
When BYOD was firstly introduced, many companies decided to use it without any studies about its effectiveness.
An employee who is using a personal device for working tasks could be in a legal grey area for a number of reasons. First, does the employee need to be compensated for working on the phone? Companies usually reimburse employees for business expanses. But should a company buy a new phone for an employee after a new version is released?
Also, BYOD can erase the line between work time and non-work time, and whether or not employees need to be compensated. But what rights does the employee have when the employee owns the device is not clear. With business technology an employer typically has the right to monitor the phone of the employee.
Many IT and other companies are finding out that they can achieve the same mobility goals for many BYOD initiatives by giving their employees a mobile device for work, but the employee should choose one device from a few options provided by the company. This has now created a trend with a new title: Chose Your Own Device (CYOD).
Organizations can provide employees with devices on different mobile platforms. It doesn’t have to be a PC. They can bring a device with the iOS or Android platform, and they will own the device, but providing different platforms can make employers happy and as a result there is more productive.
This follows the initial appeal of BYOD: making work devices attractive and comfortable for younger workers, especially workers who grow up with iOS devices in their hands. Such a generation doesn’t even know all the possibilities of PC, because they use mobile devices for all their working and personal tasks.
All these BYOD and CYOD trends can be titled as the corporatization of the consumerization of IT.