BYOD – a trend that’s here to stay

One of the most prevalent trends that the consumerisation of IT has contributed to is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Employees now expect to use the smart phones or tablets they use in their personal lives in a professional capacity too, and it is this demand that is revolutionising the way IT is purchased, secured and delivered.

 

Happy employees, happy business

BYOD has a whole variety of benefits for both the employee and the employer. Allowing employees to use devices they’re familiar with not only increases overall efficiency, but also enables small businesses to leverage the latest features available in the cutting edge technology that more and more consumers are keeping pace with. By cultivating a team of happy employees, small businesses can also ensure job satisfaction and employee productivity – both essential tools for driving the success of a small business.

 

Missed opportunity

The reality in small businesses is slightly different though. Although it would seem obvious for small business employers to support the technology that their employees are comfortable using, our research of 2,500 office workers across Europe revealed some contradictory results. While Germany is leading the way with almost 45% of small businesses catering for trend, the UK lags notably behind the rest of Europe with only 18% of employees allowed to use their own device in the workplace. However, interestingly, 40% of UK businesses support remote working. This sheds light on a huge cost-saving opportunity that remains for small businesses to capitalise on. By combining off-site working with BYOD, SMBs can offer their employees flexible working practices to suit both personal and business priorities, while significantly reducing overhead costs.

 

Making security a priority

70% of employees are already using their personal devices for work purposes but IT departments only know about a third of these. While this raises serious security issues around the trend, it also clearly highlights the fact that BYOD is here to stay and small businesses need to proactively cater for it. This is the year for significant investment in a strong and reliable network that can provide the fast connectivity that small businesses need to support the plethora of smart devices that are second nature to a digitally fluent workforce.