Modern smartphones offer a range of apps, voice and data sharing tools, but they are intended for consumer use only - so is it ever a good idea for a business to translate this into a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work too? Definitely not! Our latest eBook analyses the high risk of consumer device usage in an enterprise environment and clearly outlines why businesses should invest in enterprise mobility solutions rather than implementing policies that allow their staff to use their own device to carry out professional tasks.

Even if BYOD policies may seem like a more cost-effective solution they can affect business performance and productivity, resulting in a loss of capital and efficiency, as well as pose critical threats to security and lone worker safety. Let’s find out what are the four key reasons why businesses should consider implementing enterprise mobility solutions rather than BYOD:

1. Productivity
Enterprise mobility and productivity go hand in hand; as a survey of IT professionals by Clutch shows:  productivity is the top benefit of embracing enterprise mobility.

Yet BYOD can’t ensure continuity but often users experience black-out spots, poor voice quality and limited vertical specific application integration. Where as in contrast, professional solutions allow you to reliably and rapidly get in touch or share information with relevant staff, suppliers, or management, boosting customer satisfaction by up to 76% and loyalty by up to 73%.

2. Connectivity
The value of the mobile device in the hands of your workers is heavily dependent upon the quality of the wireless connection. They need continuous wireless connectivity, whether they are inside a building or connected to the cellular network in the field. Wireless data keeps your workforce connected with the critical information they need to do their job efficiently.

The standard of connectivity for consumer grade devices is far less reliable, secure and functional than that of security certified enterprise solutions; it’s like comparing a race car to a utility purpose vehicle, it still does the job, but it won’t deliver on vital requirements. For example, it is critical to increase business productivity that staff can communicate with one another no matter what their location is.

Good connectivity is also critical for security reasons - staff and other lone workers must be in a position to access their colleagues or a central emergency unit immediately via one-press alarm buttons for example. Black-out spots can see a breach in health and safety requirements and put your employees at risk.

3. Data protection and security issues
Data security is a top concern for organizations. If employees are carrying consumer grade mobile devices, their operating systems may not have the security features required to comply with your enterprise security standards, increasing the risk of a data breach. Enterprise class devices are designed to provide the required levels of security, where the typical consumer class device falls short. Skycure reports that 21% of organizations have traced a data breach back to their BYOD program.

BYOD can present even more headaches for businesses now that GDPR has officially come into effect across Europe.

Companies now have to manage their personal data handling far more transparently and efficiently or risk significant financial fines. Consumer grade devices will be unable to ensure reporting for data security compliance, and there is a body of evidence confirming that BYOD doesn’t sit well with this new policy: Ovum shows that 28% of IT departments do not manage BYOD behaviour and 97% of employee’s  devices are reported  to  contain  privacy  issues while 75% lacked adequate data encryption putting customers’ privacy at risk. 

Another factor that needs to be considered is that consumer devices are a greater risk of ending up in the wrong hands and being stolen; it’s easy to understand that the latest smartphone model is more appealing to thieves than an enterprise device, and it is this desirability that increases the chances of sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.

4. Cost efficiency
The implementation of enterprise mobility might sound like an expensive step to take but the longevity, wear and resistance of enterprise devices would definitely save your company money in the long term.
Consumer devices are not designed to support professional use and lack industry specific features such as optimal and integrated barcode scanning, push-to-talk functionality or man-down automated alarms, which can be critical in hazardous environments where workers may find themselves isolated, with both hands occupied.

Device longevity and resistance to hazardous workplace environments is another factor that needs to be considered; the design of enterprise devices make them more resistant to falls or impacts and therefore longer-lasting than consumer grade devices. In addition to this, even if an enterprise device gets damaged it won’t be hard to repair it; there is usually a repair agreement for all enterprise devices covering wear and tear or accidental breakage such as a broken screen; making the Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) process smooth and cost effective.  This contrasts with having to manage the different agreements relating to the various consumer devices workers use in a BYOD environment.

Another substantial difference between consumer and professional devices is battery life; most of the time smartphones’ batteries don’t last a day, that’s why we all have a spare charger in our bag and we continuously check how much ‘juice’ our phone has left, to the point where ‘low-battery anxiety’ or ‘nomophobia’ has become a real-life condition recognised as a fear of having no mobile battery. In contrast enterprise devices with multi-battery-charging and swappable battery option, are designed to ensure that battery life lasts a 12 hour shift, without limitations on apps and functions that drain energy.

The case for enterprise grade devices is therefore simple: any business wanting to optimize its operations, improve productivity and job satisfaction should be wary of opting for BYOD policies as the apparent saving to be made are rapidly off-set by a whole host of risks, problems and difficulties.

To find out more about the pros and cons of consumer versus enterprise in the year of GDPR compliance, read our full eBook.

By Marlo Tietze

Region Lead EMEA Central

Spectralink

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