By Andy Roberts, Head of Enterprise Mobility, O2 Unify

O2 were one of the first organisations to introduce Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and Choose Your Own Device (CYOD). This was an innovative step and now 29% of phone and tablet devices used by employees are part of the BYOD scheme. It is something I believe businesses could now be offering as standard.

Bring Your Own Device enables employees to bring the tablets, laptops or smartphones they would use at home into the office for use at work. Choose Your Own Device (CYOD) offers employees an opportunity to choose from a wide range of corporate devices. Since the implementation, there are three key benefits I have seen in practice at O2:

1. Legitimised Device Usage

As a technology company, most of our employees have a keen interest in the latest tech and don’t want to have to leave their purchases at home. We saw an increasing number of people bringing in their personal devices for work purposes, which presented a security risk. Through the implementation of BYOD, we are able to manage the devices connecting to our network. CYOD allowed those employees without the latest gadget to select a device that they can also use outside the office.

2. Security

One step to seriously consider when giving employees more choice is making sure BYOD and CYOD devices are properly managed. We set up a simple system to allow employees to register their devices and spent time ensuring that if a device is stolen, no data can be accessed. This means there is more variety for employees but, more importantly, the devices they use are fully secure and existing usage policies are upheld.

3. Employee Satisfaction

We found an employee’s perception of the internal IT department is often based on the devices and applications they use every day. By empowering our people to use their own preferred devices with a native experience they became “Fans of IT”. It is now part of O2’s DNA to provide choice and flexibility for employees whilst still remaining secure.

We have a strong story to tell about how BYOD and CYOD have improved satisfaction and increased productivity. We felt so confident that our employees were equipped with the right tools that in 2012 we closed our Slough HQ for a day and everyone worked from home. 88% of staff said that they were at least as productive as on a normal day at the office and 36% even claimed to have been more productive.

When bringing the benefits of BYOD and CYOD to other businesses we encourage companies to assess the requirements of their devices and the wants of their employees. For example, if your business is in construction perhaps a CYOD scheme featuring rugged devices is most suitable? Ultimately, by equipping your employees with the tools that they enjoy using, it’s not just another day in the office.

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