BYOT: What It Means for IT

The Benefits of BYOT

If there’s one thing about BYOT that’s pretty clear, it’s that the concept did not originate from the IT department. In other words, it’s a business initiative that company management views as an opportunity to boost productivity. In this section, we’ll talk about productivity, as well as other key advantages of BYOT.

BYOT and Productivity

It makes sense that employees may be more productive when work is easily accessible from a device that they enjoy using. Part of this can be attributed to the ease-of-use of tablets and smartphones - perhaps a reason why they're so popular in the first place. This also should translate into fewer support calls to the help desk, increasing overall productivity.

Your Device, Your Problem

Whether employees buy their own devices outright or receive company stipends, most BYOT experts agree that ownership not only improves how employees feel about their devices but also how they treat them. After all, this is a device the employee has chosen and likes - and one that he or she will also use as a personal device. But even if employees choose to treat these devices as corporate property, companies can choose to offload some of damage liability to their employees. This is something that should be outlined in a company’s BYOT policy.

Happy Employees, Better Retention

One of BYOT's greatest benefits is that it gives employees something they want - and that isn’t always easy in today's economy and shrinking corporate benefits. Plus, what manager doesn't want to give employees the ability to spend more time on work? In this sense, BYOT is a no-brainer, and as consumers become increasingly attached to mobile devices, it could even be considered a way to gain and maintain employees.

The Cost of Cost

The big one. Does BYOT actually save money? The gut reaction is that it must save something, given that employees are putting at least some money into their devices. But are equipment savings wiped out by the costs of BYOT implementation and then supporting the plan?

Cost can enter the equation, whether or not a company buys devices (or provides a stipend to offset the cost) because security and management requirements for these devices also means new software, time to develop new processes and policies and increased monitoring. Plus, many such devices work according to contract. When employees rely on such devices for work, companies may end up footing the bill. In a nutshell, BYOT is complicated, which has a variety of cost implications, many of which have not yet been fully realized.

There is some evidence to suggest that this is the case. CIO Magazine did a survey in August of 2011 and found that:

Nearly one-third (31 percent) of technology decision-makers currently encouraging or requiring BYOT have reduced both hardware spending and labor for support, as a result of allowing employees to bring their own technology to work, while 9 percent have lowered hardware spending and 5 percent have reduced labor for support. Forty-three percent aren’t able to quantify the cost savings to their company, as a result of BYOT.

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Written by Tara Struyk
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Tara Struyk is a senior editor at and a freelance editor, blogger and writer for hire. She specializes in writing about personal finance, investing, careers and consumer technology. Likes: The Internet, espresso and running. Dislikes: Typos, debt and domestic vehicles.