The unstoppable escalation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has meant that it is no longer a case of whether businesses choose to embrace it, but when and how
by Rob Smith, director for market development with MDS
MDS’ recent 2012 Connecting with Business Customers research (see here) suggests that the proportion of businesses adopting BYOD practices is justifying the hype. Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of big businesses (those with 1,000 plus employees) have already implemented a policy for workers seeking to use their personal mobile devices for work activity, while – encouragingly for smaller businesses – slightly under half (49 per cent) of SMBs have put actions into place.While this adoption is helping to bridge the gap for seamless integration of mobile devices into the workplace, it is bringing planning, transparency and cost difficulties for the CIO and IT Director.
It also proves problematic for Communications Service Providers (CSPs), who are being called upon to inform on the best route to BYOD implementation.
Despite their perceived expertise in the BYOD arena, 71 per cent of IT decision-makers complained that CSPs are currently not doing enough to support the growth and smooth adoption of such policies.
Take into account statistics showing that 61 per cent of respondents considered the cost of BYOD difficult to ascertain, and 59 per cent believed that BYOD makes balancing spend visibility and control with user empowerment a major challenge, then it’s clear to see where there is work to be done on driving adoption.
All in all, CSPs are not acting as the wealth of knowledge that businesses expect of them.
The findings continue to highlight the disparity between how businesses adopt BYOD policies, and the resultant problems in transparency, productivity and cost-planning that CSPs must address to ensure smooth deployment of these services.
These percentages should worry service providers as unless they are brought down to far more respectable levels BYOD adoption may stall.
Yet, CSPs don’t have to feel threatened by these findings, provided that they are prepared to act as BYOD educators.
There’s a very real and important role that CSPs can play here, placing themselves as experts for businesses with fledgling abilities to implement BYOD successfully.
This is even truer amongst SMB customers, which often lack quality and depth of IT management and resources when compared to big business counterparts.
At present, such problems are far too prevalent and risk undermining the successful adoption of BYOD, or risk costing businesses far more than necessary in a time when cost-control is more critical than ever.
With their existing presence amongst businesses through the provision of Service Level Agreements (SLAs), CSPs are uniquely placed to educate and inform on how businesses can streamline their usage levels when personal devices enter the workplace.
CSPs and businesses should be working concurrently to ensure these communication services are appropriate agile and accountable.
The answer is not only to be found in education programmes between the CSPs and businesses, but also in more transparent contracts and working partnerships through SLAs, in order that visibility – and cost predictability – remain at the core of successful deployments.
CSPs can (and should) position themselves as a valued partner in this continually-developing relationship around BYOD adoption, and act as the central figure to ensure the benefits of BYOD are mutually achieved.
Rob Smith is an xperienced and motivated management professional with ten years of experience in the telecoms industry. He has a sustained track-record of delivery and creating growth. Rob is focused on the delivery of revenue-generating business opportunities across sales and alliance channels through the development of strategic propositions that support market need. Successful projects include launch of high-profile MVNO start-up; delivery of convergent telecoms services for major business customers, and the launch of hosted managed service platform. Rob Smith is currently director for market development with MDS.