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BYOD’s effect on the IT help desk

  • Lanier Norville By

BYOD programs can minimize the technical problems employees experience with their mobile devices and reduce the creation of new help desk tickets, according to a new report. It might seem obvious that employees will be more familiar with their personal devices than with anything corporate-owned, and therefore will be more productive on them. But the results of a recent survey offer evidence that BYOD can benefit IT productivity as well.

In an online survey of U.S. employees who use their personal devices at work, fewer than 30 percent reported having opened help desk tickets for their own devices. The survey, conducted by the web-based research firm Software Advice, found that 83 percent of respondents were more skilled with their personal devices than with company-issued devices, which translates into fewer technical problems. Nearly 40 percent of respondents said they run into problems they cannot fix themselves “much less often” with their own devices when compared to company devices.

In the report, author Craig Borowski refers to reducing the help desk burden as a “fringe benefit” because it is often overlooked amid other perceived benefits and concerns. “Based on the discussions we see taking place now, this reduction in use of help desk resources is rarely mentioned,” he says. “Actually, much of the discussion we see regarding BYOD focuses on data and device security concerns. These are concerns which, some employers fear, would actually increase the burden on their help desk department and technology systems.”

Borowski says that in his opinion, these concerns are “often misguided.” According to Borowski, “MDM/EMM software vendors offer a variety of low-cost BYOD solutions that ensure device and data security. Once more companies have these solutions in place, the focus of BYOD discussions will likely shift away from security concerns to the myriad benefits BYOD brings to a company’s help desk burden, operational efficiency and bottom line.”

At the very least, widespread adoption of BYOD within an organization could give IT more time to focus on data and device security. At best, it could enable IT to focus on large-scale mobility initiatives that move their companies ahead.

Although it’s difficult to quantify productivity gains that result from BYOD adoption, Borowski suggests one strategy that may provide insight into the success of a program. “How well any particular company is able to quantify the cost savings of their BYOD program is determined to a large part by how precisely they track company and employee performance, both before and after BYOD adoption” — and of course, by keeping track of declines in device-related help desk tickets.

Lanier Norville

Lanier Norville

Lanier Norville has been writing and editing for online publications for six years. Before joining AirWatch, she was the editor of three medical technology magazines including the award-winning publication TechNation.

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