by Timothy C. Colwell, Senior Vice President of Global Business Analytics, AOTMP

BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – is a byproduct of consumers acquiring technology devices and their desire to use them for conducting business.  The phenomenon is real and allowing personal devices to serve as platforms for business information requires a strategy for enabling and supporting users, as well as securing data.

Before constructing a policy supporting the BOYD model, it is critical to answer a few key questions.  First, quantify the business benefit gained through a BYOD approach.  Is it purely a financial opportunity?  It is true that equipment and monthly recurring cost can be pushed to the employees, which lessens the financial burden of wireless cost, but the equipment and monthly plans only account for a portion of the total cost of ownership.  Technical and application support are still required.  While the cost of providing access to systems may be less than that of system support plus devices and monthly plans, the cost of support is real.

Second, establish qualification guidelines for BYOD eligibility.  A company may have 1,500 corporate paid and supported devices against 5,000 employees.  If BYOD eliminates financial liability for the lion’s share of the 1,500 devices and adds a large portion of the 3,500 employees not supported under the corporate model, then the net gain in users supported could easily triple.

Finally, establish a business model for funding BYOD user support.  If employees or cost centers are not willing to absorb the cost of supporting these users – staff, systems, technology – then the question of should or shouldn’t we adopt a BYOD model may be moot.

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