Technological advancements and smartphone penetration have seen millions of customers purchasing advanced mobile devices for personal use. A majority of the global workforce is using these devices at work, integrating them into their daily workflow. This trend is often referred to as‘Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).’Currently, enterprises, specifically SMEs, are contemplating how to integrate employees’ personal devices in enterprise infrastructures. The BYOD trend is acting as a catalyst in encouraging the IT sector to prioritize an employee's efficiency without compromising security while enhancing enterprise mobility. A research study by Cisco revealed that 89% of IT departments enable BYOD in some form.
With the widespread adoption of the concept, the global BYOD market is estimated to be in the maturity phase, characterized by intense competition. Companies are increasingly embracing the BYOD concept to lower infrastructure costs and increase productivity.
BYOD is increasingly attracting and retaining employees as employees are happier with choices. Allowing employees to use their personal devices facilitates flexibility and, subsequently, fosters employee satisfaction. Employees are often more content to work on their desired personal devices rather than those selected by an IT department. With a BYOD policy and more autonomy, employees can complete the same tasks more conveniently and with a higher level of flexibility. Moreover, mobile employees can remain connected on the road and attend to tasks at any hour. Doing away with the hassle of switching from a personal to a work device is another key benefit of a BYOD environment. A research study conducted by Capgemini found that 19% of businesses considered BYOD as a way to enhance employee satisfaction, while 17% believed BYOD could improve productivity at the workplace. A case in point here is Cisco. The company recorded a 33% increase in employee satisfaction with the implementation of the BYOD concept. It is also noteworthy that the company did not pay for the devices or service plans. Another example can be Needham Bank, a U.S.-based community bank, which deployed a remote desktop solution to improve employee productivity through BYOD. Since the implementation of BYOD, the bank’s number of remote and mobile users increased 11 times while time spent working remotely grew an astounding 120 times.
When employees use their own personal devices for work purposes, companies save capital expenditures of hardware, software, and related IT operational expenses, which facilitates considerable cost savings if employees are ready to endure the cost of purchasing, maintaining, and upgrading the devices.
A majority of the global population today owns smartphones, and internet connectivity is faster than ever before, with its reach extending to rural as well as semi-urban areas. This scenario has been fostering the growth of the BYOD market, with companies looking to improve their offerings in a bid to capture larger shares of the pie. For instance, In March 2018, BlackBerry and Microsoft partnered to support smooth workflow and empower the mobile workforce with the seamless availability of Microsoft’s mobile apps within BlackBerry Dynamics, providing enterprise users an unfluctuating experience while opening, editing, and saving a Microsoft Office 365 file such as Excel, PowerPoint, and Word on any iOS or Android device. A research study by IBM revealed that 82% of employees think that smartphones play a major role in business productivity.
On the flip side, security concerns pertaining to the BYOD concept hinder wider adoption among enterprises. These security risks include unauthorized third party access to sensitive information, device theft, and employees holding confidential data on their devices post-separation from the organization.
The adoption of BYOD in small and medium businesses is increasing significantly. SMEs can leverage the concept to reduce their capital as well as operational expenditures. Not only do these enterprises save on hardware and maintenance costs, but a majority of employees also endure the data costs incurred on the devices, which further cuts costs.
The BFSI sector is a major adopter of the emerging BYOD trend as BFSI companies are under constant competitive pressure to adopt mobility. They are compelled to build user-friendly applications to deliver services to users and attain a competitive edge. BYOD provides remote access to account information and also enables collaboration with co-workers. Moreover, BYOD also enhances employee satisfaction and indirectly contributes to revenue generation. The trend also reduces the hardware and associated maintenance costs for the company, allowing it to direct its focus on the bottom line.
Asia-Pacific, with its large SME base, is estimated as the fastest-growing region in the global bring your own device market. Organizations are increasingly adopting the BYOD trend to retain employees by providing benefits, including flexible timing, internet use, and mobile technology for private as well as professional use. A majority of the SMEs in countries such as India and China are embracing the bring your own device concept; approx. 30% of Indian companies support all employee-owned devices. The region’s massive smartphone user base provides a potential customer base for the BYOD market. In addition, increasing IT expenditure among various sectors, coupled with government initiatives such as smart nation, smart city, digitalization, and others, is also paving the way for the growth of the BYOD market. Moreover, employees in the region are increasingly attracted to a work from home culture, which further improves efficiency and subsequently imparts to the BYOD trend.
Some of the prominent players operating in the BYOD market include Microsoft Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., Infosys Limited, Blackberry Limited, IBM Corporation, SAP SE, Tata Consultancy Services Limited, AT&T, Tech Mahindra Limited, Capgemini, Honeywell International, Oracle Corporation, Accenture, and HCL.
The BYOD market has seen a significant number of collaborations and R&D activities over the years. While R&D activities primarily target security concerns, collaborations target enhancing existing offerings. Using a personal device for work purposes extends the threat of data privacy and theft of company information. Device manufacturers are working towards offering more secure devices equipped with facial recognition software, fingerprint scanners, and retina scanners to verify users and restrict unauthorized access. In the coming years, biometrics will be used to verify staff to grant access to corporate data with BYOD devices.
In June 2018, Samsung and Blackberry collaborated on enhanced digital transformation solutions. The target of the partnership was that joint enterprise customers using cutting-edge Samsung devices, including wearables, mobile phones, tablets, and the Samsung DeX mobile desktop experience, attained the ability to manage these devices on a single device via the BlackBerry Universal Endpoint Management (UEM) platform.