The consumerization of IT is now so entrenched that the yes vs. no debate has really moved on. Better to focus on the tools and strategies to simplify device management, maximize ROI and minimize data costs.

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work issue has been hotly contested in enterprise IT circles for the past few years. Arguments have been raging for and against. The Nay’s say the BYOD security risks and management costs are simply too great. The Yea’s say bring on the productivity gains from deeper engagement with mobile working.
Discussions with customers across most verticals, even banking, shows a shift towards embracing the “new age” of mobile. Of course there are differences in the rate of change from company to company, but in the main, BYOD is a reality for most organizations and needs to be acknowledged. We have to address what the changing IT landscape means for enterprise mobility – and the potentially steep data costs involved.

Reality Check

Close to 70 per cent of employees now use their own smartphone or tablet it to access corporate data, according to a recent global study by research firm Ovum.
Looking at 4,371 employees worldwide, Ovum’s findings came with a clear heads-up for mobility managers: ‘respond and adapt now to this change in employee behavior, or be steamrollered by it’.
The study also found that, of the 70 percent who bring their own devices to work, 15 per cent do so without the knowledge of their IT department – and 21 per cent per cent do so in spite of an existing anti-BYOD policy.
We deal with this reality every day on behalf of our customers. Each organization approached BYOD differently and those that have taken advantage of employee willingness to invest their own money in mobility do report an improvement in mobile engagement and productivity. They have also, however, seen a dramatic rise in their monthly cellular data bills.

Bill Shock

Mobile data consumption is on the rise and BYOD is partly to blame. We are all active creators and consumers of digital content and popular mobile apps make content snacking on data-intensive videos and images tantalizingly easy. But unlike voice calls where you pay by the minute, keeping track of data usage and costs is challenging. Tack on employee roaming, the operator shift to 4G/LTE and faster release cycles for more powerful mobile devices. It all adds up to substantial cellular data bills – and an unpleasant feeling of bill shock. Depending on the BYOD strategy in place, employers may be compelled to subsidize the costs incurred but unfortunately bill shock is becoming increasingly common and the costs are reaching alarming levels.
At Wandera, our customers are dealing with BYOD and the corresponding data explosion by putting Mobile Data Optimization (MDO) to work. Companies are itemizing mobile data bills for personal and professional use, and enabling data compression to extend the data pool, or setting caps on certain kinds of data – making it easier to successfully manage a BYOD strategy.
For more on the subject, read this post, which makes the  argument that employees can be more productive and accessible when they are allowed to work from their own devices.