Do the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) benefits really add up?

2013-05-16

From CFO magazine, an interesting financial perspective on the value of BYOD - quoting from a Nucleus Research paper they warn:

"Companies can’t reap the full benefits of a bring-your-own-device policy for employees if they reimburse monthly voice and data charges. But the benefits may not be all that great anyway."

The basic argument here is that the productivity benefits claimed about BYOD are unsubstantiated and it typically doesn't add up financially, unless companies shift part or all the expense to employees. What may make more financial sense is COPE - Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled.

The full Nucleus Research report is well worth reading, because I think CFO magazine have put a particular spin on this issue. Having said that, productivity claims are always an easy target because unless we pick a specifically defined and measurable activity - unfortunately, BYOD isn't likely to impact such a process.

But its also worth bearing in mind that BYOD can have strategic benefits that make the cost worthwhile. For example, such is the demand for BYOD from users the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that 2 in 5 college students & younger employees would accept a lower-paying job with device choice, social media access, and mobility.

This actually all sounds eerily similar to the arguments against investing in social software. In this respect, if you think BYOD is the answer to a single quantifiable problem in your organisation, then it probably isn't the right strategy.

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