As mobile device developers continue to advance the capabilities of their products, the practical applications of these devices are increasingly realized, specifically as it relates to how companies manage their fleets & workforce using mobile devices. Employees are embracing these advances quicker than their employers, prompting the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to workplace technology, where employees use their personal devices for work-related tasks.
For logistics, service and fleet managers, using mobile devices improves communication and interface between employees, management and customers. As the BYOD movement has grown, companies have been pressured to examine if they should embrace the movement or issue their own mobile devices. What are the keys to consider when determining your approach? Cost, accessibility, and security are several factors to consider when deciding the best fit for your business. Looking at the pros and cons of the BYOD model can be helpful:
Cost shift: Most companies that take on the BYOD model require employees to pay for all or part of the costs related to the device. This approach can have its own set of challenges but often results in significant savings versus a company- issued phone even if the company pays a portion of the expense.
Pioneering technology: Since many employees are quick to embrace the latest and greatest in mobile technology, a company may be able to reap the rewards of cutting edge technology. This means a company can benefit from some of the latest features and capabilities for better GPS tracking, delivery confirmation and direct communication with route changes.
Flexible Work Hours: Employees have 24-hour access to their devices, allowing dispatch to send drivers information on traffic, weather, route suggestions and any other important messages at any time of the day. This gives drivers the advantage of early preparation.
Employee Reimbursement: On the surface, BYOD appears to be a better decision because the company is not burdened with the cost of buying and maintaining devices. On the other hand, many employees feel entitled to reimbursement—either whole or in part— for using their own devices. If a company’s compensation for BYOD doesn’t match up to employee expectations, there can be lingering feelings of resentment.
- A survey by IT Services provider Damovo UK shows that costs might “spiral out control” with reimbursement. Additionally, not all employees have the same provider, and predicting the monthly costs could prove challenging. A company may also miss out on the chance to receive bulk discounts for data plans and the devices themselves, which may be eligible for regular upgrades.
Privacy: There is also an issue of overall privacy. With regards to managing personal devices in a work environment, smartphones and tablets are likely to have private information, photos, videos, or conversations that employees may not want to disclose to their employer.
Security: Costs associated with security breaches are becoming regular headlines every day. One of the key issues that must be handled by companies with a BYOD program is how to manage security protocols on unsecured devices. By providing employees with company- issued devices, employers can have specific safety mechanisms that lock out potential applications or uses that lead to a failure in security. Although there’s no way to prevent possible security or data loss issues, the best way to counter these measures can be by controlling possible outlets and access points.
- Establishing protocols and guidelines for security can be difficult because the device is shared between company and personal use.
When evaluating these key points above it’s important to keep in mind what might be ideal for one company, could cause major issues for another. Deciding on BYOD vs. company-issued phones truly depends on the company’s industry, its goals and needs surrounding its fleet and employees Utilizing technology like MobileCast, which is available on both iOS and Android platforms, means that no matter which side of the device issue your company sits on, you can be sure routes are being implemented correctly.