Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is a business trend sweeping across organizations the world over. Enabling and evolving BYOD is the concurrent trend toward easy real-time communications.
Last year Tech Pro Research found that 74 percent of organizations either had BYOD programs in place or were launching one in the near future. The reason is simple: Businesses either let employees use their personal devices in accord with company policy or employees will create shadow IT and use their personal devices anyway. It is hard to stop employees from reaching for their smartphones when these employees know their own devices and want to use them for getting things done. Businesses either accept BYOD or look the other way.
Enabling and pushing this BYOD trend is increasingly simple real-time communications.
Real-time communications enables BYOD on two fronts. First it makes videoconferencing something that everybody can do without the need for corporate-sponsored services or special equipment. The days of specialty videoconferencing that required expert setup are nearly done, and real-time communications moves video to personal smartphones.
Second, real-time communications makes it easy for employees to communicate with one another even when they’re on the go. This drives further adoption of BYOD because there’s less need for being in the office or using corporate resources to get things done. And as employees use their phones more, they reach for the phones they know—their personal device. This creates a BYOD situation.
At the same time, though, real-time communications pushes the BYOD trend even further.
The ability to chat and videoconference by mobile phone allows employees to make their BYOD devices the primary computing tools they use over the course of the day. Marc Benihoff, founder of Salesforce.com, famously conducts all his business by smartphone. Now this may not be the norm, but real-time communications does increase the use of smartphones for business and makes BYOD not just about using personal tools for business, but about replacing business tools with personal devices.
Real-time communications goes hand in hand with BYOD, and the two trends support each other. Where one goes, the other is not far behind.