BYOD/BYOA Give Enterprises a Head Start

by Wang Yuming, Huawei Enterprise Business Group 2013

It is said that the world has been shaped by three apples: Eve’s knowledge gain after eating an apple, Newton’s discovery of gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree, and Steve Jobs’ revolutionary Apple products. As a result of this last “apple” influence, people have become increasingly reliant on mobile phones and tablets, both at work and in their daily lives.

In the past, electronic devices and software were usually first used in office environments before becoming popular with individual users. At present, however, iPhones and iPads are reversing this trend through unparalleled access to performance and applications in North America, where IT usage is high, tens of thousands of companies and academic institutions using BYOD have concluded that this model offers three major benefits.

Enhanced Productivity

Survey findings indicate that tablets (particularly iPads) and smartphones (especially iPhones) are driving the widespread adoption of BYOD, despite the fact that Apple lnc. and other small device makers did not originally actively market the use of its products in the enterprise arena. Rather, employees have learned which tools make their work easier and more efficient.

Corporate applications on BYOD devices serve as an efficient channel for instant communication among employees, between enterprises and customers, and between enterprises and suppliers. This channel is sure to enhance enterprise key performance indicators, including employee productivity, operating efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

For example, an American healthcare agency employs Unified Communication and Collaboration (UC&C) technologies to enhance its operating efficiency by 40 percent. Employees using UC&C clients on their iPads or Android-based tablets are just one click away from a variety of communication methods, such as IP voice call, instant messaging, voice or video conferencing, data synchronization, file sharing, and cross-device dialogue switching.

The flexibility and multimedia capabilities of smart tablets also facilitate the agency’s rescue services. For example, staffers can use GPS to locate field personnel. They can take photos with HD cameras and quickly transmit images back to medical centers to prepare for operations. Staffers can also use multi-point touch technology to “bring” online experts into video-based diagnosis conferences.

There is another huge success story: A North American bank has reduced its average loan review cycle from one or two weeks to four work days by enabling its customer loan managers to access its network via their own iPads. Equipped with the easy-to-use devices, customer loan managers can quickly submit customer loan BYOD Extra applications, view loan regulations, check and review progress, discuss contract clauses with senior managers via instant messaging, or even initiate videoconferencing from customers’ premises to engage colleagues from multiple departments in discussions about the customer’s loan needs and solutions. Using the BYOD model, the bank accelerates its business growth and enhances customer satisfaction.

Employees tend to be more satisfied with personal applications on their own devices rather with complex hard-to-maintain corporate applications.

Improved Employee Satisfaction, Motivation

Corporate software suites, processes, and devices only produce the desired results when employees favor their use. Encouraging employees to adopt corporate applications with a user experience equivalent lo that of social network sites or personal applications is likely to win favor with employees, boosting utilization.

Traditional corporate applications store data in separate locations, which restricts their data access. However, new corporate applications and databases powered by cloud computing technology can allow easy access from more users and devices, including BYOD devices. By combining BYOD devices with cloud computing services, employees can have data at their fingertips, regardless of their location.

For instance, China Telecom’s Zhejiang Branch asked more than 1,000 VIP customer managers to use Sina Weibo (a Twitter-like microblogging service), Ecplive (China Telecom’s collaborative communications tool), and Tenccnt’s QQ (an instant messaging application) on their smartphones. Each of the customer managers has attracted an average of 225 followers and kept track of 308 customers on Weibo. In total, these managers have released 2,263 Weibo posts. Owing to these communication tools, customer managers have become more active and efficient in marketing and their interaction with customers. In 2011, the Zhejiang Branch had the highest VIP customer retention rate inside the China Telecom group.

China Telecom’s Jiangsu Branch developed a broadband installation client. Installed on smartphones, the client enables China Telecom employees to complete a variety of tasks at the customer premises, including service activation, bandwidth testing, port allocation, diagnostic troubleshooting, location, work reporting, and customer satisfaction feedback. Ninety-three percent of employees report satisfaction using the client.

Reduced Operating Costs

But the biggest advantage of the BYOD model lies in reduced costs for management, deployment, upgrading, and hardware. Enterprises adopting the BYOD model no longer have to pour money into procuring and replacing office equipment. Rather, they need only provide employees with subsidies, which are usually much lower than the cost of procuring and replacing equipment.

BYOD also slashes the costs of using office equipment.

According to a survey of nearly 1,000 North American enterprises that use the BYOD model, 50 percent ask their employees to buy the device as well as pay the phone bill, while 50 percent pay the phone bill and have their employees buy the device.

When it comes to the total cost of ownership, userfriendly applications on BYOD devices are more costeffective than traditional corporate applications that demand resource -extensive implementation. Moreover, the user-friendliness of BYOD devices guarantees quick mastery of functions and facilitates employees learning, reducing training costs.

When it comes to the total cost of ownership, userfriendly applications on BYOD devices are more costeffective than traditional corporate applications that demand resource -extensive implementation. Moreover, the user-friendliness of BYOD devices guarantees quick mastery of functions and facilitates employees learning, reducing training costs.


The growing popularity of BYOD will also give rise to a BYOA (Bring Your Own App) model for corporate applications. So in addition to addressing cyber and data security challenges posed by BYOA, enterprises must tackle the difficulties in developing and managing corporate applications. CIOs must weigh the options of BYOD and BYOA utilities, such as personal applications and cloud computing services like Dropbox and iCloud.

To resolve security challenges, some enterprises have begun to develop specialized internal applications for use on employee smartphones and tablets, including office applications and enterprise communication and collaboration tools. These internal applications deliver a user experience similar to much-loved “apps” on smartphones and tablets. Some enterprises even develop application stores to control the installation of applications on employees’ mobile devices. A survey on IT professionals shows that 66 percent of 6,275 investigated companies plan to develop their own application stores.

Like the Small Office and Home Office (SOHO) model that enjoyed so much popularity several years ago, the BYOD/BYOA model places a high priority on user-friendliness, enabling employees to dramatically increase productivity and unleash their creativity.

Unfortunately, this model also poses technological and managerial challenges to IT departments. CIOs therefore need more now than ever, to guide and manage BYOD and BYOA in a way that best suits the needs of employees for easy-to-use devices, while mitigating risks posed by the model. Only by embracing this model can CIOs increase productivity and get a head start in this fiercely competitive market.

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