After presenting at a recent event about BYOD, I had an interesting lunch conversation with an IT Director from a major corporation who gave me some insights on how his company views the ROI of BYOD.
We've all become accustomed to drawing up a simple spreadsheet totaling costs and subtracting savings on capital and expenses. That's a simplistic view, he argued. It may very well be that user-owned devices will, at least in the short-term, cost more than they save in the quantifiably categories that make up the IT budget, but that doesn't mean there is no return.
"If my team members will be happier in their jobs using an iPhone, or Galaxy Tab or whatever, that purchase is a no-brainer for me," he said. It's difficult (though not impossible) to estimate the benefit of increased productivity. It is much easier to estimate the recruiting and training costs of replacing experienced staff. Both of these categories more than off-set the potential support costs that may arise.
He was right – no doubt about it.
It isn't a question of whether you should have a BYOD program, but rather, about how you will manage it. Employees are increasingly performing their work on multiple devices; and, for the foreseeable future, one of those devices will be a computer. That doesn't change the company's responsibility to enforce a single standard – especially a security standard – to mitigate the risks to company resources and data. It also doesn't change IT's responsibility to control support costs.
The best way to do this is by adopting a tool that manages all of your devices (Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and Windows Phone) in one administrative console, enforcing your policies through intelligent automation.
I think I know where you can find a solution like that.