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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD): Can employees increase their efficiency if allowed to use their favorite device?

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It was about a year back when BBC reported the concept of BYOC – Bring Your Own Computer and questioned whether it could be future of IT provisioning. Just a year later, BYOC has evolved into BYOD – Bring Your Own Device. The Wall Street Journal was quick to spot this one, having labeled it as something ‘inevitable’ because employees are bound to bring their smart phones and tablets to work.

BYOD efficiency

But what about India?

Should employees in India Inc be allowed to bring and use their own devices to work? If yes, how will it benefit the company?

While it may be a bit early to answer these questions, let’s take a look at a recent VMware’s New Way of Work Study 2012 survey where a whopping 72% of Indian respondents said that using their own devices at work boosted their productivity.

The VMware New Way of Work Study was a survey conducted across 10 APJ countries in which respondents were employees from multinational organizations. Surprisingly, 72% of Indian respondents claimed higher productivity levels when they were allowed to use their own devices to complete tasks. A massive 81% of respondents from Thailand claimed so, followed by 72% from India and 69% from China.

What do employees in India think about BYOD?

India does not figure in the top 3 countries from where respondents affirmed the highest occurrence of BYOD. However, the below highlights of the survey results may leave you wondering if India Inc will soon be in line to promote the concept of BYOD to keep employees happy.

  • 69% of the Indian respondents believe that their work life was less stressful when they were allowed to use their own software and apps.
  • 76% of Indian respondents lean towards self-solved web based solutions to increase productivity.
  • 61% of the Indian respondents felt that they’d prefer to work for companies which are open to personal IT related choices at work.

Growth of smartphone and tablet market has been tremendous over past couple of years and is expected to only increase going forward. The numbers given above will only rise with time, and corporates have to take this preference quite seriously – as it may mean loss of productivity. However, it also has its own obvious risks & disadvantages…

BYOD from a practical perspective

The concept of allowing employees to bring their own devices to work has multiple hurdles from a practical perspective. Without a doubt, companies will have less control over the applications that employees download and install. Security fears will also be highlighted as employees will use the devices for non-work purposes also.

Besides the simple security threats of viruses, malware, hacking attacks and loss of business data, companies may also want to lockdown their softwares and other platforms from prying eyes. The fact that they will have virtually no control of the devices once the employee steps out of the office premises, may not be acceptable to such organizations.

However, in the day and age of innovation and technological advancement, there seems to be an answer for everything. And one day, India Inc may very well see the rampant use of employees’ personal devices. As Andrew Dutton puts it, "To be at the forefront of new IT, organizations need to revaluate IT policies and keep an open mind. As employees re-imagine the workplace, technologies such as virtualisation, cloud computing services and security will help companies adapt." [Source]

Would love to hear your views on BYOD!

  1. Kunjal Kamdar says

    Interesting Post. In India one will really have to convince the top management, as organisations have to ensure that employees do use BYOD for productive purpose. It might happen that they might also end up using it for personal purpose. The reason for saying this is that companies in India (most of them) do not allow Facebook / Twitter on desktop or laptops. So if you allow BYOD, they might start using it for personal purpose.

    1. Sterling Jackson says

      It’s an interesting idea and could be invaluable but could also be subject to abuse. In the right context I can see a lot of positives. Employees would be able to work on equipment they’re most comfortable and familiar with. Employers could lower their hardware costs if their employees are bringing their own devices…

      With more and more businesses using cloud based ERP & CRM it would definitely be easier since they’re generally system agnostic.

      However, it opens the company network up to malware present on the employee’s computer and could also make it very easy to copy and steal large amounts of data…

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