Organisations and institutions that previously restricted Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are now realising that it can actually give them a competitive advantage, and in some cases can even keep them in business.

In 2012 it was reported that over 150 million devices were being used in the corporate environment and this is set to double by 2014. Previously, security and support concerns meant that businesses were restricting BYOD, however it is now a key element to the success of businesses.

Four key factors to consider when deploying a BYOD solution, and the benefits it has on businesses are:

  1.  Supporting BYOD reduces security risks

The problem that occurs when businesses restrict the use of personal devices is that the more technical employees will always find an unsafe way to use them, even if it is a risk to the network, whilst others may go elsewhere. Recent studies found that 28% of IT departments were ignoring the use of BYOD by employees, which creates an incredible threat to the security of a business.

It is therefore in the best interests of organisations to support BYOD in order to monitor and control network access in a safe and efficient way, rather than dealing with security breaches by users determined to use their own devices. In addition to discouraging employees from leaving, supporting BYOD will help reduce security threats to organisations.

  1.  Increased productivity

Businesses are learning that employees become more productive when they use the tools they prefer, and compared to last year, more businesses are using BYOD to increase employee productivity. People using their own devices are nowadays continuing to work outside of the office environment and out of their usual working hours, further blurring the divide between work and personal life.

A recent survey found that those who use mobile devices, on average, work 240 hours longer a year than those who don’t. For example, employees that use personal smartphones for work will tend to read and respond to emails at home, during their lunch hour or while standing in queues. The result is voluntary increased productivity.

  1.  Cost savings

Some businesses have reported that BYOD saves money by no longer requiring the purchase of company devices. This point can seem controversial as it could be argued that the savings gained by BYOD are not as significant as the additional cost of deploying and supporting devices. However, with the right BYOD solution considerable savings can be achieved. An average BYOD solution costs approximately £5 per device.

Assuming an organisation pays £125 CAPEX per device with a two-year commitment, this translates to a saving of £120 per device. For a 1000-person organisation (with 1 device per user), that saves approximately £120,000 over 2 years, or £60,000 for one year, just for CAPEX. From an OPEX perspective, a typical device requires a £63 per year maintenance contract.

Since the organisation no longer needs to pay this amount, a further £63,000 is gained per year (for a 1000 person company). On average it will cost £25,000 for part of an IT person’s time to support these BYOD devices. Therefore, the net savings for OPEX comes out to £28,000. A total savings for a 1000-person enterprise is approximately £88,000 or £88 per person per year.

  1.  The network is an asset for intelligent IT

Today’s networks are no longer just a medium for communication, but assets that can be used flexibly and intelligently. With the right BYOD solution, networks can be used strategically and intelligently to drive a business. Companies can easily learn about the types of devices and users on their network, the applications they use, location, time and potential buying patterns – all without infringing on user privacy.

This kind of intelligence is incredibly valuable and provides a significant competitive advantage. As well as making intelligent changes that will substantially improve the user experience and grow their business, companies can also gain insight into adjacent areas of business expansion. The result is better understanding of how your business works and how to make it grow.