BYOD makes employees happier, companies more profitable: survey

By GovTechReview Staff
Thursday, 21 February, 2013

Organisations embracing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) are seeing significant improvements in sales, profits and productivity after adapting their work processes around consumer technologies, a recent survey has found.

Many organisations have resisted BYOD because of its disruptive technology and the potential security risks it introduces. However, the research findings – by Avanade, a global solutions and managed-services provider, which surveyed nearly 600 C-level executives in Australia and 18 other countries – suggested overwhelmingly that embracing consumer technologies makes workers happier and more productive by letting them work with technology they know.

Within Australia, the results suggested, 83% of companies that have changed their business processes to accommodate consumer technologies, have seen positive benefits afterwards. This included 34% reporting increased profits, 40% reporting better work being produced, and 57% that have been able to respond to customers more quickly than before.

“Australian companies are embracing consumer technologies in the workplace at a higher rate than their global counterparts and are more willing to change business processes to accommodate emerging work trends,” Avanade’s Australian country manager, Jeyan Jeevaratnam, said in a statement. “This progressive approach is leading to tangible benefits.”

While some of the findings were consistent with widely-held ideas about mobility – for example, that 62% of employees use personal devices in the workplace or that an equal proportion use smartphones for basic work tasks like reading email, online documents and calendar invitations – others were something of a surprise.

Specifically, the Avanade research showed a strong preference for tablet computers, with one-third of respondents indicating they use tablets for advanced business purposes such as CRM, project management, content creation, and data analysis. This figure was slightly lower than the 40% that use tablets for basic work tasks – but shows how quickly tablets have gained status as serious business tools.

For those companies that have changed business processes in recognition of this fact, the rewards have been significant. Fully 78% of Australian companies have adapted one or more of IT management, sales and marketing, HR and customer service policies to suit these changing patterns, while 26% of companies have changed four or more of these business processes.

Benefits from these changes included stronger sales (reflected in a 73% higher rate of reported improved sales and new customer acquisition); increased profits (a 54% higher rate of increased profits); and greater agility (with organisations 58% more likely to report an improvement in bringing products and services to market).

The companies also reported improved employee satisfaction, and a greater emphasis on creativity and a greater ability to solve problems.

The research also showed an interesting schism in executive perception of consumer technologies: whereas IT decision-makers were most (55%) interested in minimising the risks of BYOD technologies, business leaders were more concerned (56%) with making the most of the technologies’ benefits.

“Successful companies are bridging these two views to achieve the best results,” says Jeevaratnam. – David Braue

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