More than two-thirds of businesses see boosts in employee productivity and customer response time by letting employees bring their own devices to work, and more than half of companies feel they would be at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD, according to a new study by Dell Software.
The survey, conducted with nearly 1,500 IT decision makers around the world, also found that 64 percent of respondents believe that BYOD will only deliver benefits if the specific needs and rights of each user are understood.
In addition, the survey identified several areas of increased employee gains: more flexible working hours, ability to foster creativity, innovation, increased morale and more teamwork/collaboration.
"It is working. And for companies that approach this with a well-thought out plan, it works better. It's not surprising, but it is refreshing to see," said Roger Bjork, director of enterprise mobility solutions for the Dell Software group.
Some companies still have trepidation around security issues, but companies that have thought through the issues and defined BYOD policies face little risk, Bjork said.
"They can then choose strategies and partners to move them down the path, and problems are minimal or non-existent," Bjork said.
Dell surveyed two sets of companies: between 1,000 and 3,000 users and more than 3,000 users, midmarket and enterprise audiences for whom BYOD is a big topic, Bjork said.
"We encourage them to have a plan and not just let BYOD happen," Bjork said.
First, businesses should define what they're trying to accomplish with BYOD and set HR and other policies accordingly. It's better to focus on users than device types, he added.
"Let that drive future decisions. Based on that, I think you can identify technologies to deploy and employ policies around security," Bjork said. "Then you can power those employees with apps."
Solution providers trying to figure out how to help customers deploy BYOD technology should follow the same paths, he said. "Reinforce to customers that there is a way to do this and developing a plan is a good step," he said.
The United States, the Beijing region and Australia comprised the top three places that encourage BYOD by actively managing and supporting any devices that users want to bring into the corporate environment, according to the study. France, Germany and the United Kingdom were the bottom three countries in that regard.
The two most common areas implemented for BYOD are desktop virtualization and mobile device management.
Some organizations are still struggling to understand the concept of BYOD, according to Dell. For example, 11 percent of survey respondents said BYOD means "employees wanting to use their tablets."
But, BYOD is making inroads. About 32 percent of respondents answered the question about what BYOD means to their organization with the answer that "the BYOD movement is about much more than managing devices -- it's about users, how they do their jobs and the degree to which organizations empower them to achieve maximum productivity -- regardless of device or location."
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