As with any good argument there are usually at least two possible outcomes: The Good and The Bad. Such is the case with the Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D.) trend that has come to business mobile. That is, employees bringing the mobile device of their choice to use at work, such as smartphones and tablets. We won’t pass judgement or opinion in this post, but here is a list of experts we found whose opinion is well regarded on the topic of this consumerization of the enterprise. Does the increase in mobility that a corporate BYOD strategy offers increase or decrease ones personal productivity and therefore a company’s overall productivity? See what these experts have to say:
BYOD decreases productivity
- Tom Kaneshige (@kaneshige) of CIO.com writes that BYOD can limit productivity when employees travel internationally. “Many BYOD smartphone-carrying knowledge workers often take international vacations” and don’t check in on work because their company won’t pay for international roaming. Before BYOD companies would automatically pay for global roaming because the phone was a corporate asset and employees would check-in on work during international vacations. He further predicts that BYOD will decline in 2013 because “support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains,” citing a report from Nucleus Research.
- Ndubuisi Ekekwe – On the Harvard Business Review Blog Ndubuisi writes that 24/7 connectivity eliminates predictable time off (a key part of a work/life balance) and this jeopardizes long-term productivity. At his company, “there was a perception that if a customer or a colleague needed something and couldn’t get it immediately, the firm would not be taken seriously,” so they implemented a 24/7 availability policy. “Six months later, we noticed that customer complaints were actually up, and team morale was down.”
- Pedro Hernandez (@pedrohernandez), for Datamation, writes that privacy fears threaten gains in productivity from BYOD. He says 82% of enterprise workers were concerned or extremely concerned that their employer can track their web browsing, and 86% were concerned or extremely concerned that their personal data (photos, music, email) would be deleted without their authorization, citing a survey by Harris Interactive.
BYOD Increases Productivity
- Peter Silva (@psilvas) in his series on BYOD policies for SYS-CON Media writes that using their preferred device makes employees happier. He goes on to say that “80% of Americans work an extra 30 hours a month on their own time with BYOD,” citing research from Good Technology.
- Denise Deveau (@denisejdeveau), for the Financial Post, writes that telework has had no negative impact on productivity. “Productivity increases when people know they have the freedom to fit things in when they need to.”
- Caroline Baldwin (@cl_baldwin) – On ComputerWeekly.com Caroline writes that, “nearly 60% of employees feel work would be more enjoyable if they had a say in the technologies they used, while 60% feel they would be more productive with better IT resources,” citing a report from Evolving Workforce Research.
- Cesare Garlati (@CesareGarlati) write on the Trend Micro Consumerization Blog that BYOD boosts productivity because, “employees want to use their mobile devices, laptops and home PCs for work, and are also likely to get more out of the technology because they’ll be more familiar with it.” Further, “although productivity gains may offset many of the costs and risks associated with BYOD,” IT leaders should carefully evaluate the role BYOD would play in their organization before making a decision.
The Mobile Only Experiment
- Benjamin Robbins (@paladorbenjamin) – The true mobile productivity test is underway. Can one truly be productive on a mobile device? How productive? Benjamin is contributing columnist with The Enterprise Mobility Foundation spending a whole year working solely from a single mobile device. Each week he shares his thoughts and experience with us on what it means to be mobile-only. Will he remain mobile-only after 52 weeks? Benjamin is also regular blogger on all things mobile in the enterprise.
As most anyone can attest, time is a valuable asset. In business, time is often a gating factor yet getting more done faster is the standard. The undeniable trend of mobile growth in business and personal productivity is both a variable and an opportunity when it comes to managing what little time we have.
Are you more productive in business when you are mobile?
Please share your comments.