Mobile devices are continuing to grow in popularity. Most field service companies have realized that mobility is key to staying competitive and delighting customers in today’s market. But before implementing a mobile strategy, it’s important to determine whether you want to purchase devices for your employees for work or if you want to implement BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). There are many types of devices that can be used in field service work, not just smartphones. Wearables like smartwatches and Google Glass are also considered mobile devices. Companies in various industries including technology and education have implemented BYOD. However, this type of policy is more popular in the U.S. than in Europe.
If you decide to implement a BYOD policy, it’s important to keep these things in mind when developing your strategy:
Pros of BYOD Policies
With a BYOD strategy in place companies see a 14% higher increase in service margins--46% to 32%--compared to businesses that don’t have a BYOD strategy. Other benefits include improved SLA compliance and employees who are more satisfied than those at companies with no strategy.
Cons of BYOD Policies
Additionally, companies may worry that employees aren’t truly doing work on their devices, and that they’ll be less productive. In a 2014 report called Enterprise Mobility Management: Changing It Up with CYOD, it was revealed that employees at companies that had a CYOD strategy (Choose Your Own Device - a model where workers get to choose an approved device from options that the employer will buy) saw a 4% higher productivity increase than those employees at companies with a BYOD strategy. However, it’s important to note that companies with a BYOD strategy still saw productivity improvements.
What Makes a Successful BYOD Strategy
Many companies that already let employees use personal phones do not have a BYOD policy or strategy in place. So the first step to a successful BYOD strategy is to thoughtfully develop one that will work for your team, instead of not having a strategy at all. Every department from the leadership down to the IT team needs to be on board, so that your mobile field service workers can be effective. Knowing the risks involved before implementing a BYOD policy, and keeping track of productivity and efficiency gains once the strategy is implemented is crucial for success.
Including gamification in your field service BYOD strategy would help employees to be enthusiastic about their work and strive to go above and beyond. If technicians know the performance goals they meet will be rewarded, the company’s fear of a loss of productivity when letting employees use their own devices will be diminished.
How to Keep BYOD Devices Secure
Since security concerns are often cited by companies as a main reason for not permitting BYOD, keeping devices secure should be a high priority when planning a BYOD strategy. To prevent security breaches, it’s important to keep in mind these tips:
- Have employees use a business app such as mobile field service software on their mobile device so all the data that your employees gather can be stored in a secure cloud-based storage system. That way if a device is lost or stolen, it can be remotely wiped with the peace of mind that sensitive company information is backed up to a secure cloud. Field service businesses can work with their field service software provider to ensure the cloud complies with company rules and regulations.
- Make sure field service techs’ devices are passcode protected. Should the device get into the wrong hands, data cannot be easily accessed.
- Engage with your legal department to develop a BYOD policy that details the correct usage of personal devices for work.
- Once you have your BYOD policy in place, make sure employees know how to handle a variety of situations concerning their device such as it being stolen or lost. Also, make sure this policy lets them know what type of networks they’re allowed to use and who owns the business data that’s gathered on the device.
Keeping in mind the risks and rewards of BYOD will help you develop a strategy that works best for your business and employees.