Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in enterprises spiked from 42% at the beginning of 2020 to 66% in late 2020, as a consequence of the pandemic-induced work-from-home policies. MDM is increasingly becoming an important technology as many businesses today count on employees to use personal devices to access company apps. To ensure IT departments secure mobile devices properly, enterprises are investing in MDM to help mitigate risks that BYOD imposes.
In a recent survey conducted by CyberEdge Group, organizations are implementing device management technology to –
- Enforce device-level security policies for identity management, password requirements, and patching on smartphones and tablets.
- Apply and push corporate policies to enterprise applications running on BYOD or corporate-owned mobile devices.
It is clear that mobile device adoption is growing (and will continue to) exponentially, especially at a time when work-from-home or hybrid work initiatives are being embraced by enterprises. Regardless of the benefits of MDM, executives often make their decisions based on their checkbooks. However, BYOD devices managed by MDM could ultimately prove a cost-effective proposition.
BYOD Management Costs
Upfront device acquisition
Besides the obvious reduction in hardware costs, a managed BYOD program can deliver a number of cost savings. Employees who use familiar technology know how to (or know the right place) fix a device-related problem, reducing training and support costs.
Smaller organizations are more likely to outsource management than larger companies because the former don’t have the expertise or a dedicated IT department to properly manage and secure mobile devices. Managing personal devices incurs in-house labor costs. The average 250-employee company spends 54.1 hours every week on managing employer-provided devices, while this drops to 33.8 hours per week for BYOD .
Mobile Device Management software
Many MDM providers offer different pricing models for licenses per device or per user. A 2018 study by Oxford Economics, commissioned by Samsung, found that organizations are spending between USD 3.25 and USD 9 per device each month. Organizations looking to manage smartphones, tablets, and laptops may benefit from a single MDM solution that allows them to manage multiple operating systems. Enterprises that use multiple devices for work can opt for per-user pricing to gain significant cost savings.
BYOD and MDM Benefits
The main advantage of BYOD is employees can use their own devices for work purposes. They don’t need to carry separate devices for work and personal use. MDM is designed to fill any security gaps while ensuring employees have flexibility at work.
Besides cost savings, the productivity gains of BYOD can make a real difference to the organization’s bottom line. According to Cisco, the average BYOD user saves 81 minutes per week in the US. Further, companies that favor a basic BYOD program make an annual saving of USD 350.
The cost versus value debate continues to influence the mobile policy which decision-makers need to make. But in a hybrid or work-from-home model, if the remote workforce accesses company applications and data, securing BYOD should be the highest priority. An MDM solution like Scalefusion doubles as a BYOD management and security tool. BYOD MDM allows IT departments to manage employee- and company-owned devices from a single dashboard, applying consistent security policies across all managed devices. Companies can ensure BYOD security by –
- Creating dedicated work containers for work-related applications, documents, and other data.
- Applying passwords and other security policies on the work container to restrict access through unmanaged apps or other sources.
- Selectively wiping corporate data from BYOD devices. IT staff can remotely wipe all company data present on BYOD, leaving personal data intact.
By now, it’s clear that a BYOD program with MDM support makes business sense. But what about user acceptance? Employees have concerns about the confidentiality of personal data on MDM systems. For employees to get along with a BYOD policy, personal information must be kept away from IT. Device management solutions alleviate privacy concerns by –
- Separating personal and corporate information.
- Prohibiting the system to alter or delete any data with personal ownership.
- Staying compliant with different laws and regulations depending on the location and industry.
Calculating the potential cost reductions or increases in implementing a BYOD program is essential. But the benefits far outweigh the cost of an MDM-powered BYOD program. Companies can witness gains by reducing barriers to productivity, such as personal distractions and downtime, and improving availability. Any organization, no matter where it is in the BYOD spectrum, will need to invest in MDM to realize top-line benefits.