For some time we’ve known that companies are increasingly encouraging their employees to bring their iPhones and iPads to work. The trend known as BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, will likely accelerate as enterprises seek ways to cut costs and workers push to bring consumer-grade devices to the job. In a new report, researchers find the larger the company, the more willing firms are to junk the company phone for something from Apple or Google.
“Just as we saw last year, smartphones and tablets will be popular gifts this holiday season, and come January employees will bring these devices to work in droves,” says John Herrema, Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy at Good Technology. Good released numbers today showing what began as a casual occurrence of an iPhone here or there has become institutionalized with companies offering stipends and other programs.
Herrema sat down with us to talk over the meaning behind the charts on the trend toward BYOD. The overarching theme: consumer devices once thought a nuisance are now viewed as a competitive advantage. The movement means increased productivity by employees coupled with fewer costs for companies.
There is a higher incidence of iOS devices taking part in programs encouraging employees use their own devices at work. Typically, 60 percent of BYOD devices are iOS-based, he said. For companies, there appears to be a lower limit of employees where BYOD makes sense. Eight out of 10 firms embracing BYOD have more than 2,000 workers. However, the adoption rate trails off for very large corporations. Just 35 percent of companies with more than 10,000 employees make use of the bring your own device trend.
For employees, 50 percent pay all the costs of using their iPhone or Android phone at work. Another 45 percent receive a stipend to cover either the cost of the device or associated data plans. According to Good, companies offering partial stipends attract more mobile users.
The financial, insurance and health care sectors — all highly regulated — are most apt to embrace the BYOD model. Although some retail and government efforts have attracted headlines, these closely-monitored businesses are the most friendly toward employees bringing consumer devices to work.