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Craig Barrass, Spectralink

by Stuart Wilson, Friday 26 October 2018

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Craig Barrass, region sales lead Northern Europe, Spectralink, explains the issues facing clients as they look to navigate the bring your own device (BYOD) conundrum. Barrass is experienced in all aspects of consultative selling, relationship building and the management of sales teams and processes. Prior to Spectralink, he had 15 years of success with Anixter, Avaya, and Alvarion.

Navigating the BYOD conundrum

"Across Europe 79% of Europeans are using mobile phones to access the internet confirming that mobility is continuing to increase in popularity. Technology provides consumers access to one-click purchasing, endless information on search engines, constant access to video calls and instant messaging (IM) platforms as well as regular telephone calls. The same level of mobility is sought after in the professional world, leading many companies to decide to allow their employees to use their personal consumer-grade devices to carry out all business tasks and therefore adopting a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. During sales conversations with your clients it is important that they are made aware of the risks that come with such a policy and how these can ultimately can affect their bottom line.

Of course, finding the right mobility solutions to match your clients’ requirements is key, but conveying the message that mobility for consumers and mobility for enterprise are two very different facets is a vital part of the process. Your clients’ needs equipment to facilitate their workers so that they operate at the highest level of efficiency and productivity meaning that any enterprise mobility solution needs to include an over-arching strategy – which goes well beyond simply providing each worker with a handset.

If your clients choose to adopt a BYOD policy it is important that they are fully informed of the potential security risks that come with it. BYOD means that there will be unmanaged devices containing company information and the same devices will be accessing corporate networks making it almost impossible for companies to keep tabs on confidential information. In response to this issue, some companies have chosen to implement a Mobile Device Management (MDM) plan, whereby the IT department can access personal devices. However, conveying to your client that MDM policies come with their own set of risks is a must as very few consumer devices actually have the capacity to support enterprise MDM strategies. The ‘security gains’ are particularly limited as many companies see it as over the top to ‘wipe and lock’ an individual’s personal device if a security breach be detected .

A report from Cisco shows that 78% of businesses say that the mobility initiatives which are in place in their businesses are security oriented suggesting the benefits of an enterprise grade device need to be made clear. These devices can be remotely managed to update, lock, monitor and troubleshoot as and when needed, and companies can also employ the remote ‘wipe and lock’ function when a possible security breach has been detected. Therefore when discussing the pros and cons of a BYOD policy it is important to reiterate how businesses adopting them are exposing their business to threats which could affect the bottom line.

Enterprise mobility is of course an added cost to a business, which makes the appeal of a BYOD policy even more clear; however, the point to drive home is that the actual cost of a device only counts for a mere 10% of the total cost of deploying that device in a business environment (when accounting for the cost of voice, data, development and management security support and the high cost of returning and replacing consumer handsets). On the other hand, when discussing enterprise mobility solutions with your clients it is important to make sure that they understand the total cost of ownership will also be higher than the mere sum of the device plus and plan.

It is important to ensure that your clients understand that any business looking to implement a BYOD policy needs to be wary that the initial cost-savings are a mere short term allure. They will be rapidly be offset by a whole host of risks and inevitable problems forcing them to battle on-going unexpected costs, ultimately affecting the growth of the bottom line as improving operations and productivity and increasing job satisfaction will not be prioritised. Enterprise mobility will enable your client to manage diverse types of data without needing time consuming application development all from one single device. Ultimately enterprise mobility is the outcome of an all-encompassing strategy which is so much more than just providing one device per worker."

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June, 2021

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