It’s important to remember that it’s not the device that is mobile, it’s the employee. Employees today are using mobile devices to perform their job responsibilities and while most of what ESG witnesses today is based on employees consuming information, we are seeing more evidence that demonstrates how employees are using smartphones and tablets for productivity purposes. This is a significant shift. It’s valuable for a mobile employee to view e-mail, patient records, important documents, and even videos, but there can be a significant leap in value for the business when the employee uses the device to input information and for productivity purposes.
In an effort to capture the power of productivity on endpoint devices, some companies are enacting bring-you-own-device (BYOD) policies for employees. Terri McClure and I recently published an ESG research brief, BYOD: Increased Investment Leads to Increase Productivity, regarding the investment businesses are making in BYOD strategies and the positive results they are benefiting from.
More than two-thirds (69%) report that their organization does allow employees to leverage non-company provided devices in some capacity.
More than three-quarters (77%) of leading-edge IT shops have embraced BYOD to some extent, compared with only 60% of laggard consumers.
More than two-thirds (67%) of organizations with a formal BYOD policy in place report that BYOD has had a positive impact in terms of both employee productivity and IT efficiency.
BYOD initiatives are proving to be a fantastic way to unlock the business value inside endpoint devices for the mobile employee. We think through the value of BYOD with the four Cs:
- Connect: IT deploys technology on the endpoint that enables the employee to easily connect to enterprise applications, yet IT either maintains complete control of the device or fences off a corporate environment on the device and/or institutes control of individual business applications wrapped with policies. This is typically federated with a common identity and authentication service.
- Consume: Initially an employee consumes e-mail, calendars, contacts, and corporate documents managed and controlled by IT policies. Consequently this leads to the broader consumption and in many cases the creation of specific mobile applications designed for the mobile employee.
- Collaborate: E-mail usage is the initial collaboration application, but growing in interest and usage are file sharing and unified communication applications that enable corporate text messages, video calls, whiteboarding, and screen sharing to promote collaboration.
- Create: Applications and business use cases are driving employees to capture information and input data. By leveraging the camera, microphone, and text input capabilities, employees can tap into applications beyond the viewing capabilities that most use today.
Terri McClure and I also step through a comprehensive timeline for a workspace delivery strategy in an ESG market summary report, Workplace Delivery: Desktop, Application, and Mobility Platforms for Hybrid End-user Computing Environments. The report touches upon the pace of innovation we are seeing in this market and the business results are fascinating.
There are a few different approaches we see IT vendors taking in the market to help business accomplish its mobility goals:
Companies like VMware and Citrix are focused on broadcasting applications or complete desktops to the remote employee.
Microsoft and Google have significant plays led by business productivity applications and identity management.
IBM, SAP, and Oracle are all similar in respects to modernizing enterprise IT applications for a mobile workforce.
Facebook may seem like the odd man out, but it is having an impact for businesses that advertise with Facebook. It already has employee personal credentials and has made inroads into the access and identity management area (largely on the gaming/consumer application front), and both the IAM and the collaboration capabilities have potential value for a corporate setting.
There are of course security risks that need to be identified and addressed, but the advantages of BYOD and overarching mobility trends, for employees, IT and ultimately the business can be significant. Unleashing the productivity aspects of devices for mobile employees is resulting in improved job satisfaction, enhanced business results, and simplified IT operations. Now is an ideal time to intercept mobile employees and practice the four Cs.