Enterprise ‘bring-your-own-device’ (BYOD) programs have evolved over the years and have been adopted increasingly every year. With businesses consumerizing their IT services, more organizations are implementing user-choice programs to keep workers engaged. The early results are promising, as a recent study found 72 percent of employees get the job done more effectively when allowed to choose and use preferred devices. Productivity isn’t the only advantage organizations can obtain by letting workers choose their own devices. Instead, this operational freedom can pay off in a variety of ways.
Here are 3 of the most prominent benefits of implementing user-choice programs in the enterprise:
1. Quick Learning Curves
Onboarding employees is almost always going to be complex and time-consuming, but you can streamline many aspects of the process. In particular, training employees on the types of systems your business leverages is simpler when workers can choose their own systems.
For example, consider how the technology world is breaking off into ecosystems. Apple, Microsoft and Google have separate operating system and platform designs that each brand uses to create common experiences across devices. Even when these tech giants partner with third parties for device manufacturing, they typically include basic design and interface elements that are common – the one-button mouse for MacOS and two-button mouse for Windows are just one place where this divide is evident. Such a simple interface and device choice leads to different user inputs and major alterations to user experience designs.
These sorts of platform-specific distinctions exist at the application and software layers, as well, as many of today’s leading tech brands set standards for application design and usability that they expect developers to work within. As such, users leveraging the same app can use entirely different commands depending on the device of choice.
It is difficult enough to get employees on board with new software and business practices, but asking them to do so while also coming to grips with an unfamiliar platform and device ecosystem adds to the learning curve. Letting workers choose their own devices allows workers to maintain familiarity and reduces the time it will take for them to acclimate to new apps and services, regardless of if they are new to the company or simply responding to an app upgrade.
2. Better Retention and Engagement
When employees are able to use familiar, comfortable technology, they can often feel more attached to the work culture. An Enterprisers Project guest blog from industry expert Matthew Raskin summed up the situation thusly:
Younger workers are more interested in using the best technology, not just what IT wants to make available.
Many professionals will no longer consider working for a company with mandatory device use policies.
Employee choice is becoming the cultural norm. As these conditions converge, the IT and human resources departments have an opportunity to come together to develop strategies that keep workers engaged, the report explained.
The link between technology and employee engagement may seem somewhat tenuous at first glance. However, today’s enterprise employee is going to be doing a great deal of work online, using digital technologies. As a result, the day-to-day operational experience is disproportionately influenced by the quality of the technology in use. What’s more, it isn’t just a matter of using tech that works, but instead offering the kind of solutions that can help employees get excited about how they are working.
Letting employees choose their own solutions, within reason, creates the kind of flexibility and freedom that can drive gains in worker happiness.
3. Improved Cross-functional Collaboration
Many organizations still face a significant divide between their IT departments and their enterprise users, with the dynamic becoming adversarial in some instances. This type of relationship can become problematic not only from a work culture perspective, but also because it limits the IT team’s ability to connect with business users and understand what they need to get the job done as effectively as possible.
The move to let workers choose their own devices can change how employees view IT, even to the point of creating a strong sense of shared responsibility. This can give both groups a stronger vision for how technology can empower users in the workplace through user-choice programs.
Keeping Up With Varied Devices
While the benefits of user-choice programs are many, implementing it effectively is a major challenge for enterprise IT teams. The main challenge arises while providing support for such complex environments consisting of personal as well as company-owned devices. Managing multiple device options can leave IT struggling to optimize and secure configuration settings across devices, while maintaining device availability and business continuity.
As user-choice programs like choose-your-own-device (CYOD) programs take hold, organizations must also consider the rising prevalence of user choice programs like bring-your-own-device (BYOD). With smartphones becoming the device of choose for large portions of the population, giving employees freedom to work how and on whichever device they prefer isn’t possible without a clear device management strategy.
This is where platforms such as Deep Freeze Cloud help in implementing user-choice programs. By enabling IT teams to manage configuration and usage settings for varied endpoints – from iOS and Android mobile devices, to Windows and Mac computers/ laptops – the platform has the necessary capabilities for comprehensive computer and mobile endpoint management.
The cloud-based platform gives IT teams the control they need, while still providing enterprise users the freedom of choice that is becoming so important. Balancing control with user convenience isn’t simple, especially when it comes to setting up user-choice programs, but Deep Freeze Cloud makes it easier.
Contact us today to learn more.