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Breaking Down a BYOD Initiative

An Interview with Matt Mock, IT Director at GreenPages Technology Solutions

Ben: What encouraged GreenPages to adopt a BYOD policy?

Matt: The biggest reason we implemented a BYOD policy was that it offered the ability to give users the flexibility to use the technology that they are most comfortable with. Our IT department was getting frequent requests for non-standard equipment. This forced us to do one-offs all the time and made support very difficult.

Ben: How was the policy made? Who was involved in creating it?

Matt: The policy was created after many months of research. We looked into what other companies were doing, researched the costs for hardware and internal support, and interviewed different departments to see what was needed. We involved people from the top down, getting buy in from senior management to start. In addition, we also worked closely with the accounting department to make sure BYOD wouldn’t cost more than traditional hardware refreshes would. Our department did a proof of concept, then a pilot group, and then a gradual rollout. This allowed us to tweak the policy as needed.

Ben: Who has access to the BYOD program?

Matt: Not all departments. The program is for those where it makes the most sense from both a financial and support perspective. We didn’t want to grant BYOD to someone who couldn’t handle the issues on their own that would in turn create more technical support. We rolled it out to groups with specific requirements that weren’t going to cause us to spend more time on internal support.

Ben: Can you describe some of the highlights of the policy?

Matt: Within the policy we specify eligibility for the program, provide exact cost and reimbursement methods, and outline user responsibilities and requirements such as how to get hardware support. We also provide more specifics around what is and isn’t covered in the policy.

Ben: How do employees go about getting hardware support?

Matt: The user assumes responsibility of hardware support and is required to get a warranty. IT will help facilitate support but will not be responsible for the device. This goes back to making sure IT doesn’t spend more time supporting BYOD than they would have previously.

Ben: Makes sense.

Matt: I should also mention that GreenPages’ VDI environment allows us to offer the flexibility of BYOD with multiple devices because everyone can get the same experience regardless of the device used. Utilizing VDI also alleviates concerns around corporate data loss. If a device is lost or stolen, a person doesn’t have access to corporate resources just because they have the corporate device.

Ben: What have some of the main benefits been of the program?

Matt: The main benefits have been employee satisfaction and a decrease in hardware support for internal IT.

Ben: Some people think there are immediate cost savings from BYOD, but Chris Reily (GreenPages’ Director of Solutions Architecture) recently wrote a blog post cautioning people not to expect ROI in the first couple of years. Is this true?

Matt: Correct. You end up spending the same amount on hardware but support costs go down and employee satisfaction goes up. Direct ROI is difficult to measure when offering reimbursements. A company can avoid offering reimbursements but then you are greatly effecting employee satisfaction. If you give reimbursements, you probably end up spending the same over all amount.

Ben: What is your overall opinion of BYOD?

Matt: BYOD is not for every company nor is it necessarily for every employee within a company. A key thing to remember is that your infrastructure has to be ready for BYOD. If it is, then it’s a great perk and a great way to reduce time spent on internal support. It’s also a great way to allow new technologies into the organization and not have to give strict guidelines on what is and is not allowed.  Our BYOD initiative has also helped save my team time so that we can focus on more strategic projects that will help the business.

If you have questions for Matt around his experience implementing a BYOD policy, leave a comment or email us at [email protected]