66% of Businesses Support BYOD -- But Are They Ready to Face Its Risks?

Jun 20, 2019

If you’re a business wrestling with the ramifications of BYOD, you are not alone. Recent Frost & Sullivan survey research reveals that 66% of North American businesses – a full two-thirds—support BYOD (employees using their personally-owned mobile devices for work purposes). And it doesn’t matter if you’re a small company or large; that 66% support level stays remarkably consistent across all business sizes.

A strong case can be made that BYOD popularity will not weaken over the near term, since we expect current adoption drivers to actually increase in intensity during the coming months.

The two major drivers are worker convenience and company cost savings. Employee demands for single-device convenience will only strengthen as Boomers leave the workforce. And businesses will continue to view BYOD as a handy way to avoid the expense of purchasing corporate-owned devices, tracking them, managing them, repairing them, and handling end-of-life device retirement.

With BYOD seemingly here to stay, employers must recognize the need for better management and oversight.  Many companies have been negligent and do not offer a clear arrangement for how to govern work versus personal usage. Lacking a policy and the technology to address the evolving mix of security, operational, and legal considerations of BYOD can present companies with a number of serious risks, including:

  • Non-compliance with regulatory requirements regarding communications privacy and record-keeping
  • No clear process for reimbursement accounting
  • Losing company control of the customer interface and relationship
  • Projecting an unprofessional company image
  • Increasing user security risks

Software solutions that can neutralize these dual-use risks by providing both enterprise-grade work phone functionality (carrier-level voice and text messaging, separate dialer, voicemail, DND, caller ID, call recording, etc.) and enterprise-level administration capabilities are sorely needed. These solutions must respect the privacy of the employee, be easy to use, and be affordable. Workers aren’t going to accept privacy intrusions or a suboptimal user experience; IT departments won’t implement a solution that’s difficult to administer; and companies will only accept common-sense pricing.

According to recent Frost & Sullivan research, one relatively new solution (2018) that meets these criteria is Sprint MultiLine. If the BYOD adoption trend line stays steady or even begins to accelerate, expect more carriers and vendors to enter this market.

As companies realize the need for active management of their BYOD environments, they should expect to see a number of developments over the near term, including more vertical-specific versions and deeper integrations with back-office systems and relevant third-party services.

If you allow your workers to use their personal devices for company purposes, a good first step in exerting some control and minimizing risks is to charge your IT and Telecom Management organizations to take the lead on defining BYOD policies and implementing an appropriate BYOD communications and management solution.

More information regarding Frost & Sullivan survey results and available BYOD communications and management solutions can be found in the following study: “North American Enterprise BYOD Solutions Market, 2019 – Customer Demands, Market Leaders, and Growth Opportunities” April 2019. A table of contents and abstract can be found at: https://store.frost.com/north-american-enterprise-byod-solutions-market-2019.html

Jeanine Sterling


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