What was the first thing you reached for before getting out of bed this morning? Your smartphone, right? You had to look up your calendar, latest updates on your Facebook wall and maybe peek at emails sitting in your inbox.
The explosive growth of mobile and social technology is no surprise: It is a natural evolution of how we as humans interact. Mobile and social technology has provided us with the ability to organize, and connect faster and better than ever before. It’s not just a vehicle for connecting with old friends or keeping up with the latest celebrity news, but rather a powerful tool that helps people unite, mobilize and act on a global scale. It’s been the voice of revolutions, united people across the world to bring disaster relief to the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, and has been responsible for placing worldwide attention to social, political and environmental issues.
While these technologies have created a shift in how we communicate in our personal lives, has it provided the same impact in our work environment? Has the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement truly changed how we work? As an organization, how are you ensuring that your multi-generational workforce is reaping the business benefits of BYOD?
Organizations are not maximizing the business value of mobile and social technologies because they lack well defined, practical guidance on how to manage today’s multi-device and multi-generational workforce. Here are five steps that you can take to get started with your BYOD initiative:
Step 1: Secure Stakeholder Buy-In
Executive buy-in and support is paramount for any successful enterprise initiative. It is critical for key stakeholders to understand the value mobile and social technologies can bring to the organization. Three relevant value propositions that you can bring to the attention of the C-Suite include:
- Increase employee productivity: Employees can increase their productivity by using mobile and social technologies that provide access to information when they are away from their desks —including email, instant messaging, personal locations, calendar, voice, video and newsfeeds at any time and place. Productivity increases because mobile and social technologies help shift user behavior toward work tasks, thus fully engaging users for more time and enabling employees to work in environments that optimally support their responsibilities.
- Focus IT on strategic initiatives: The BYOD movement enables organizations to shift device purchasing, device handling, asset inventory and device provisioning to the retail channel and end users, which in some cases can reduce IT operational expenses. However, IT should provide proper information and self-service support, as well as a clear communication strategy to mitigate the risk of unnecessary support.
- Attract and retain talent: The workplace today has a mix of generations with varying technical capabilities, expectations, and work styles. Millennials rely on social and collaborative tools as indispensable options, whereas others may consider these tools to be no more than a means to improve existing processes. To attract and retain a range of employees, businesses are moving toward a rich BYOD environment; as well as partnering with human resources and corporate communications to enhance workplace satisfaction.
Step 2: Map Business Value
Securing stakeholder buy-in is not enough to successfully drive an enterprise wide mobile and social initiative. As we all know, change is often met with resistance.
An effective way for the rest of the organization to embrace mobile and social technologies as a part of their day to day work is to map how these technologies can help. Beyond sending and receiving emails, consider elevating the use of mobile and social technologies to facilitate collaboration for geographically dispersed teams, enhance multichannel communications and provide visibility into business critical data.
Identify common business scenarios that can provide “quick wins” to your workforce. This way, you can ensure buy-in and the higher likelihood of success for your BYOD initiative.
Step 3: Establish Relevant Policy
Now that business needs are identified and mapped to potential solutions, developing a BYOD policy is the next step. Key areas that you have to consider:
- How many devices are going to be connecting to your internal resources?
- What services will they use?
- Is your infrastructure optimized for mobile access?
- How do you support an employee owned device?
- Is the service available at the application level?
- From a service standpoint, how does the service perform?
- Is availability and performance consistent?
- Is the service highly available?
- How does BYOD impact usage?
- What will be the internal and external network traffic for each service?
- How will we address storage to incorporate BYOD?
- Will this impact our server performance?
Step 4: Ensure Security and Compliance
As convenient as it is for employees to access company data on a personal device, it is equally as difficult for enterprise IT administrators to ensure security over sensitive content. Phones and tablets are portable, which leaves them liable to be misplaced or stolen. Below are two of the models available in the mobile marketplace to address these concerns:
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