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By Monica Paul, Marcomtec Group

it_photo_119929Many opinions have been given about the policies and decisions that the companies have to take regarding the BYOD mobiles and even the company owned ones. There are hundreds of statistics that tells us how this trend grows by day.

The firm Gartner, for example states BYOD, as a disruptive phenomenon where employees use their own mobile device into the company and demands to be connected to everything without the proper oversight, and according to the firm, 70% of mobile professionals will conduct their work on personal smart devices by 2018.

According to Magic’s State of BYOD Infographic there are already 1 billion smartphone users around the world, with 1.3 billion smartphone and tables sales expected in 2013. Of course this attracts the IT department’s attention. They would have to prepare for to give support to all these devices surfing their corporate networks.

While most of the networks have been supporting the corporate BlackBerries, now the trend is drastically inclined towards the Apple, and Android devices, even the IT managers see the need to support the Windows Mobile as well. Not surprisingly, the IT departments report mobile apps being used not only in mobile email, and web browser, but social media, task and project management,CRM, and other apps that interact with their corporate information.

No doubt that embracing the rise of BYOD represents the opportunity for the IT to change their role from service providers and technology partners to leaders and business strategist. However, by taking this initiative and working closely with all the company’s areas requires learning about their particular needs and set up clear policies as well as a powerful remote monitoring and mobile device management to have the full control of the network – then the IT area can lead the company to a New Age of enterprise mobility enabling increased productivity and operational efficiencies, securely and cost-effectively.

Defining the rules may involve all the company’s areas, just to consider:

  • The mobility policy guiding, and principles
  • The policy breaking actions repercussions
  • The definitions – mobile device either smartphones and tablets
  • The corporate liable devices
  • The employee liable devices – BYOD
  • The liable carriers and rate plans for both the company and the employee devices
  • The international and roaming rules
  • The liable carrier features / services
  • The handset features / functions
  • The mobility management and monitoring of both the company and employees devices
  • The expense management either for company and employees devices
  • The applications and information management in both smartphones and tablets
  • The security of the mobiles and the network
  • The mobile data access
  • Help desk and support

Considering that the main company principle goal toward the mobile devices is intended to equip the workforce with the most appropriate mobile devices to enhance their productivity and performance in the role they play, the BYOD users should take on account that this is not including them performing their work in the most comfortable way or having the tools they want for their personal activities and amusement.

Everybody talks from the company’s perspective, but what about the employees’ view? Employees using their own devices to perform work tasks are doing this to have a more comfortable work environment, since the mobile device allows them to execute some activities in less time, making them more productive and maybe giving them more time to enjoy with their families or in personal activities. The other day, I invited a friend I’d not seen in a long time to have a drink, she’d be regularly attached to her office at that time, but loading the CRM app in her iPad allowed her to go to have a drink with me instead of being alone in her office just waiting for the information to perform a task in the CRM, that – by the way – took her not long that five minutes.

From our perspective, she spent her time in a better way, she was able to avoid stay late in at work, and instead he had some fun and relaxed herself; after doing her work through her iPad, she posted some funny pics in Facebook, sent a message to her teenage son, and we even check on some stuff in the internet. We would buy some tickets to go to the movies that weekend.

The company where she works is not giving her an iPad or any other tablet to do her work in a remote way; they are not interested in having her leaving the office early and having a more relaxed yet productive life.

According to John Timko, LabTech Software Marketing Director and expert in mobile monitoring and management, the MDM tools would be only monitoring the corporate apps and data. This sounds great from the technological perspective, if an agent was installed in my personal smartphone or iPad, my device would be even safer.

Yet, some questions about the companies’ policies pop up now. What if the carrier and plan I want is not included in their policies? What if apps I want to install in my mobile device are not allowed by their policies? What if I want to have different roaming or international configurations?  I assume that if the company is going to save some money instead of giving me a device because I am using my personal one, they would at least share some of the expenses with me. If I don’t agree to use my own device, is the company going to give one without deteriorating my life quality? Or, am I obligated to accept the company’s conditions to maintain this life quality and productivity levels, or do I have to choose between having a good life and being productive, when I know I may have both?

BYOD is not only for companies to consider and define policies, it is also for the owners of the devices to decide whether they want to give this benefit to their employer, if it is going to be appreciated, or if they would just ask to be given a mobile device for work purposes. This negotiation and decision is a consideration for the mobile devices owners.

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