Often discussion around BYOD and mobile management focus on larger companies like IBM and VMWare (both of which have made big bets on BYOD). For larger enterprises, BYOD is a big change for IT professionals and users alike. Testing and transitioning to a BYOD model is filled with culture shock, challenges, and deeply held concerns about data and device security.
For small and mid-size businesses, however, the experience can be very different. That’s to be expected since smaller IT departments are often more tightly integrated with staff taking on multiple roles and less delineation of duties and job functions. Often this leads small business IT to be more agile and more engaged with the rest of the organization.
According to Nasstar, small businesses are employing BYOD in large numbers and with positive results.
The London based company hosts virtual desktop solutions for a range business types and sizes. It recently compiled BYOD data from its small to mid-size (SMB) clients that complements the findings of an iGR study that we reported earlier this month.
The survey’s big conclusion mirrors that of other BYOD studies. Staff are happier and generally more productive when choosing their own solutions. Beyond that, the company discovered that most of its clients that have implemented BYOD see it as a way of attracting top talent when hiring additional staff.
- About two-thirds (64%) of small businesses already support BYOD and have written policies for how employees are allowed to use their personal iPhones, iPads, or other devices
- Nearly that percentage (58%) reported feeling that BYOD had led to increased output and better workplace efficiency (as well as happier staff)
- Roughly 60% claimed that they had saved time and money by implementing BYOD – the savings was both direct (the cost of purchasing devices) and indirect (savings on technology training and support)
- An even larger number of small firms (70%) felt that BYOD was inevitable at their companies (even if it hadn’t implemented at the time of the survey) because workers will eventually demand the flexibility of personal devices and solutions
Nasstar CEO Charles Black capped off the report by pointing out that cloud technologies like those offered by his company can help make BYOD a better option.
There is a growing demand by today’s plugged in workforce to use their own devices at work. While some employers have a blanket ban on this, it’s clear that most in our survey realise that they look more attractive if they allow it, at least in some form. The fears expressed by some employers are also not based on the current cloud technologies, security is one of the main drivers of Cloud adoption and should not be a fear.
Although the survey didn’t address IT or mobile management specifically, it’s worth noting that there are a number of free and low-cost mobile management vendors out there who deliver solutions for small business mobile initiatives. Centrify’s DirectControl for Mobile, Apple’s Lion Server and Profile Manager are two great examples as is Apple Configurator.