BYOD Reality Check: Focusing on users keeps companies ahead of the game

If you are involved in the Systems Management business or follow it, you can’t help thinking about the incredible rate of change going on! Advances in Virtualization, Converged Infrastructures, Cloud Computing and an explosion in end-user devices are driving the need for a new generation of management and operations solutions. At Dell, we intend to lead in defining and delivering on that next generation of solutions.

It is impossible to discuss all of these trends and what they mean in a single article. Over the next couple of months, we will provide points of view on each. Today, let’s start with the trend that many of us actually participate in—bringing our own laptops, phones and smart devices into our work environments.  This is commonly referred to as Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD. Many companies are actively working on their BYOD strategies and we recently conducted a study to get some insight on their approaches.

The results of our recent global BYOD survey confirm what we have long suspected: organizations that build their BYOD strategies around the users realize a higher sustainable business benefit than those that focus their strategies solely on devices, or are slow to adopt BYOD at all. Survey responses indicate that three-quarters of organizations deploying a mature, user-centric approach to BYOD have seen improvements in employee productivity, customer response times and work processes, giving them a secure competitive advantage over those that don’t.

We weren’t surprised by this. We know that early on, our customers’ first reaction to employee requests to use their own devices for work produced a scramble to figure out how to manage all those devices. Security was, and still is, of paramount importance. Over time, though, as their BYOD strategies matured, some IT organizations began to realize that by focusing on the users, they could respond quicker to the changing demands of the organization. They didn’t have to address those changes on every smartphone, tablet, laptop and any other device their employees bring to work, and, by focusing their BYOD strategy on managing user identities, they could resolve their concerns about security and other issues like access rights and data leakage, and still give employees everything they need to do their jobs.

Our survey polled almost 1,500 IT decision-makers across the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, India and the Beijing region. The results showed that more than 70 percent of those companies have realized benefits to their corporate bottom lines. Even more significantly, 59 percent say that without BYOD, they would be at a competitive disadvantage. Two-thirds of the companies surveyed said the only way BYOD can deliver significant benefits is if each user’s specific rights and needs are understood. Among respondents that both encourage BYOD and deploy a mature, user-centric strategy, this number jumped to three-quarters. They also reported that BYOD provides their employees the benefits of more flexible working hours, and increases morale and provides better opportunities for teamwork and collaboration. Overall, survey respondents with a user-centric BYOD strategy reported significant, positive improvements in data management and security, in addition to increased employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

The survey results have confirmed for us ─ without a doubt ─ that organizations still trying to address BYOD by managing devices, or that have been slow to adopt BOYD at all, risk competitive disadvantage. The highest competitive edge, in terms of the increased business value gained from greater efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction, goes to those embracing user-centric BYOD.

We invite you to explore the key findings of Dell’s survey in our whitepaper, and if you want to “see” how this data reinforces our perspective on the importance of a user-centric management strategy for BYOD, take a look at our new infographic (Note: click on the image below to see a larger version of it, or you can download a copy of the PDF here). 

How are organizations navigating their BYOD journey? Dell Quest Software infographic

About the Author: Tom Kendra