Done right, a top-down IT consumerization strategy can maximize business value for an organization and provide it with a formidable competitive advantage.
Determine and control BYOD costs and reimbursement. Costs for apps and the usage of smart devices vary from location to location. In many cases, employees may be willing to buy their own devices and pay the monthly costs with little, if any, reimbursement. But, in general, we expect employees and organizations to develop a more holistic approach toward sharing the cost associated with use of privately owned devices to run work-related applications. In such cases, the company also has to develop policies about add-on services that it is not responsible to pay for. According to estimates by Forrester Research, by 2016, 350 million workers will use smartphones—and 200 million of them will take their own devices to the workplace. Even at a minimum monthly rate of $30 per month for data access, employees will be incurring a cost of $72 billion a year, not including the cost of purchasing the device. In many cases, these employees would expect their employer to help them defray the cost of acquiring and using the device. There are two basic approaches an organization can adopt in establishing a reimbursement program: No reimbursement irrespective of the amount the device is used to perform company-related work, or split the costs with an employee or a contractor using a BYOD in performing company work. The split could be determined by how much an employee uses BYOD in performing company work. Each of these programs has their respective pluses and minuses. In developing a strategy for managing BYOD costs and reimbursement, an organization must bear in mind that the use of BYOD for company work has the potential to expand sharply for an extended period, which may lead to increasing reimbursement costs for the organization.
BYOD: An Opportunity to Create Business Value
While managing IT consumerization is a challenging task, and one that involves great changes in the workplace, it also provides a strategic opportunity to create business value. In this article, we outlined six critical success factors in developing an IT consumerization strategy. Companies need to implement a data-centric approach to mobile security to mitigate security pitfalls and concerns. They also need to set guidelines for controlling costs, and establish a policy for the equitable reimbursement of costs incurred by employees. Most importantly, companies need to rethink IT management priorities and establish an environment where innovative applications can be quickly and easily evaluated and implemented to maximize business value.
About the Authors
Jack Cooper is the founder & CEO of JM Cooper Associates and previously a CIO at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Evangelos Katsamakas is an associate professor and area chair of information systems at the Fordham Schools of Business. Aditya Saharia is an associate professor of information systems at the Fordham Schools of Business. This is their first article for CIO Insight.