Unsure about adopting “Bring Your Own”? You’re in good company! CIOs should use methods which reliably estimate benefits and costs, so they can make defensible judgements about value …

With CIOs thinking hard about the merits and pitfalls of allowing staff to connect their own devices to the corporate environment, the time seems right to help by providing a summary of our evaluation tools for “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)”.

Let’s look at benefits first. If you adopted BYOD, would that …
1. Help you automate a process which was offline beforehand? If so, what is gained?
2. Expedite processes which too often have to wait hours or days for mobile managers to return to their desks? If so, how does the organisation really benefit?
3. Improve employees’ work/life balance, attitude to work, and likelihood of retention? If so, how can you demonstrate the payback? (It’s notoriously hard, unless you actually experiment.)
4. Encourage staff to do a measurable amount of extra work, without booking the time?
5. Permit a different business model, with more freelancers, piece-workers or even volunteer enthusiasts?
6. Allow you to remove (or not renew) some corporate technology?
7. Mean you could you to lower service levels on corporate technology? If so, can you convert that into service savings?
8. Unshackle employees from the office, allow client-facing staff to get closer to clients?
9. Allow you to rationalise office space?

But what about the costs of implementation? Would adopting BYOD mean …
1. Re-designing business processes to run in a more distributed fashion?
2. Re-writing applications to run on new devices?
3. New security exposures?
4. New regulatory challenges?
5. The need for policies stating which devices you’ll accept into usage, and under what terms?
6. An onus on IT to scan the market and try-out new devices.
7. Broadening support capability to handle a range of new implementation models?

Which of these costs could you roll-in with other strategic investments to reduce the overall bill?
Better still, could you change your applications architecture to make most of these individual costs go away?
As with many other disruptive forces in technology, there are too many variables in play to allow CIOs to grapple with these questions in their spare time. So if you’d like some help to make a proper assessment, please do get in touch.
In the meantime, why not add a comment to let us know what we’ve missed in our summary.

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