When it comes to the next wave of Unified Communication platforms, to bring, or not to bring…that has become the question.
To bring what you ask? To bring your own device, that is.
Businesses and technology buyers everywhere are asking themselves this right now. With pressure mounting as CEOs and front line sales alike are looking to use their favorite tech toys at work, IT leaders are being forced to ask themselves another question.
Should we or should we not allow our employees to bring and utilize their personal devices for business purposes?
Undoubtedly we have all grown increasingly connected at the hip (pun intended) to our favorite iDevice or Droid product. With this we have also grown increasingly demanding about having the opportunity to utilize these tools for work.
But just because we want to doesn’t mean that we should. This is exactly why we have CIOs and IT leadership in our organizations. If you are responsible for making the decision for whether or not to allow your UC solutions to be run on independently owned devices, here are some things to consider.
BYOD: The Good
- Integration: Most of the devices are running on the same handful of operating systems, most commonly Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. For the most part, BYOD integration with UC platforms is built on an application via iTunes or the Google Play store. This means setting up the device to work is usually a few simple settings, including pointing the device at the right server and then inputting user credentials. The experience on the individual device will be completely ubiquitous with the experience on a company issued device. If the employee should no longer have access, the app running on the device can be made useless by simply changing credentials.
- Cost: Generally with bring your own device, a company is able to put more of the cost requirements on the worker. This also alleviates some of the headaches related to preparing hardware for every new employee or chasing down hardware whenever an employee leaves. (Note: A lot of companies doing BYOD today still have company issued hardware.)
- Employee Satisfaction: Employees are generally appreciative of the opportunity to use their preferred devices, which is good for morale. As a side effect of this, the employees are often going to have the newest tools which would be very hard for a company to keep up with. We have all seen the life cycle of new products become so short that even when you issue your employees the newest thing they almost immediately become replaced by what is next. This way the integration with your UC platform isn’t as much device specific as it is operating system specific, so the company can provide some guidelines to employees interested in utilizing their own device and then let the employee take it from there.
With widely available applications for UC on your own device, BYOD continues to gain momentum. Could a BYOD friendly UC deployment have a place in your organization? It just may, so long as you plan correctly and set the right expectations with your users up front.
This blog was written by EC3 CEO Daniel Newman and was originally posted on Commercial Integrator. The original article can be found here.