A group of people sitting on a bench in a BYOD workplace

BYOD Statistics Provide Snapshot of Future

16 Nov 2017 by Michael Lazar

This article originally appeared on Jan. 18, 2017, and has been revised to bring our readers the most up-to-date technology information

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement is gaining strength in America. But just how widespread is it? And are companies really adopting new policies that encourage employees to bring their own devices into the workplace? We’ll take a look at the most recent BYOD statistics to get a clearer picture.

Current BYOD statistics

The following BYOD statistics can help us fully understand the impact of BYOD in the workplace and serve to demonstrate the widespread adoption of this technology.

  • The BYOD market is on target to reach nearly $367 billion by 2022, up from just $30 billion in 2014 (BetaNews).
  • 59% of organizations allow employees to use their own devices for work purposes. Another 13% had planned to allow use within a year, as seen in Figure 1 (Tech Pro Research).
  • 87% of companies rely on their employees using personal devices to access business apps (Syntonic).
  • As of 2016, six out of 10 companies had a BYOD-friendly policy in place (Syntonic).
A pie chart that answers the question: Does Your Organization Currently Allow BYOD?
Figure 1; Source: Tech Pro Research

Advantages of a BYOD workplace

Statistics show that a BYOD workplace is the new standard, so it’s important to examine what advantages such policies have to offer. Studies are finding that productivity, employee morale and accountability improve in tandem with reduced hardware and networking costs. But some other plausible reasons also come into consideration that make a valid argument in favor of BYOD in the workplace.

Cisco reported 69% of IT decision-makers favor BYOD as a positive addition to any workplace policy because it saves workers time. A CITO Research report concurs, finding that more than half (53%) of all workers polled feel they’re more productive when they have their own devices. This makes sense because workers are familiar with their own devices and interfaces, decreasing the learning curve and improving usability.

A Frost & Sullivan study sponsored by Samsung quantified the time savings, unveiling that using personal devices for work activities saves employees 58 minutes each day, providing a 34% increase in productivity.

BYOD is a smart move for cost savings, as well. According to the Cisco report, companies with a BYOD policy in place save on average $350 per year, per employee. Reactive programs can boost that savings to as much as $1,300 per year, per employee, the study finds. For Small to Medium Businesses (SMBs), this cost savings can add up fast, and can enable these businesses to better protect their bottom line while improving employee productivity and morale.

Improved employee satisfaction

Companies are getting on board the BYOD train, with Syntonic reporting that 81% of businesses now offer or plan to offer a BYOD-friendly workplace. The primary reason for not adopting BYOD is “security concerns,” but having the right networking infrastructure in place can mitigate these concerns. In fact, the Syntonic study found security to be the No. 1 reason for companies implementing a BYOD program, as seen in Figure 2. Other top reasons included boosting productivity and saving money.

 

Reasons for Establishing a BYOD Program

This bar graph shows the Reasons for Establishing a BYOD Program
Figure 2; Source: Syntonic

People want balance between their personal and professional lives. Another Cisco study found workers feel more balance in their professional and personal lives when they’re allowed to bring their own devices into work. Additionally, according to IBM, more than 80% of workers feel smartphones will become an integral part of the workplace in the near future.

Businesses already are becoming increasingly creative in their approaches to improving workplace satisfaction and productivity. And BYOD represents a means to help workers feel more balanced while embracing a technology that’s already widely used.

BYOD is evolving.

Ever since the advent of smartphones and tablets, workplaces have been adopting and evolving toward BYOD. With Tech Pro Research reporting that 72% of workplaces will be adopting BYOD in the year to come, many businesses are making preparations in advance of streamlining integration.

In the future, change in policy will also occur. As telecommunications providers increase data usage limits and reduce restrictions, employers will no longer have to “foot the bill on data,” and many won’t be willing to, according to Tech Pro.

Just 7% of those surveyed in the aforementioned study reported being fully reimbursed for BYOD data and hardware costs, and only 18% received a monthly stipend. As smartphones become the new handset standard, fewer employers will offer reimbursement, which reduces operating costs. But some will mandate a BYOD policy at the same time.

Expect more resources.

With the evolution of BYOD comes new resources. Employers will have to update their networks and security mechanisms to accommodate BYOD, and new company policies will be put in place.

BYOD and the Internet of Things (IoT) go hand in hand. Some employers will look to create internal company apps and project management systems, while others will mandate that certain security programs and external apps and management systems be installed on devices to maintain compliance.

In a likely scenario, devices would also be tethered to corporate cloud storage services (internal or external), alleviating any foreseeable storage issues while also helping to improve security at endpoints.

If businesses do opt to use external cloud services, they’ll also be able to reduce security, management and technology costs along the way — while adopting a BYOD policy that helps improve operations from top to bottom. 

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