BYOD for SMEs: Finding the right tools for the job rather than ‘iPads for all’
by Manish Sablok, Head of Marketing for CNE Europe at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
We are currently seeing two schools of thought in the industry concerning BYOD – one convinced that it is the way forward across the enterprise, the other forecasting that BYOD is perhaps not so much of a good thing as we once thought. And whilst the technology is now here for CIOs to choose, they must take a pragmatic deployment approach based on business needs and user roles.
The generation factor: Generation Z vs. Senior Management
As the so-called ‘Generation Z’ enters the workforce, it has been widely believed that they will be the ones to introduce their own smartphones and tablets into the workplace. But a recent study completed by Computacenter found that ‘Generation Z’ is in fact far less enthusiastic about using personal devices in the workplace than CIOs are. Less than half of the young people questioned believed that personal devices make them more productive at work, while almost 70 per cent of senior IT decision makers believed it did.
Add to this the fact that just 17 per cent of Gen Z said they wanted to use social media to talk to colleagues at work, with the majority instead favouring either face to face chats or email, and it’s clear that perhaps the workforce habits of Gen Z aren’t changing as dramatically as we thought.
Match tools with role requirements
So a BYOD policy needs to be based on individual user profiles, rather than on generation profiles. If this is done, then a BYOD policy can reap huge rewards in employee productivity.
CIOs should examine what each employee does within the enterprise, and whether or not they need BYOD to better do their job. Often, if not in a customer-facing role, employees will not see any real gain in terms of productivity. But if used in a retail environment or across a hospital, for example, tablets can hugely improve productivity and make the resolving of customer enquiries or patient health-checks much more efficient – undoubtedly increasing productivity and customer/patient satisfaction.
Put in place a BYOD policy
CIOs should understand where the demand is coming from within their organisation – which generation is requesting a BYOD policy, and which departments might benefit from this approach the most – in order to assess the effect of a BYOD policy on productivity of the workforce, and relate that to the individual employees’ benefit.
Then it’s key that CIOs ensure they have made employees aware of the dos and don’ts of BYOD through comprehensive company policy usage and security procedures. Only then will enterprises see the real benefits by ensuring optimal employee productivity based on those users that need BYOD and those that don’t.