BYOD Programs Must Evolve to Embrace Video Conferencing

This post is sponsored by the Mobile Enterprise 360 community and Citrix.

Does your business allow its employees to bring their own devices to work? If so, how does it mind the gap between the security of your company’s data and the efficiency gains that are to be had with a mobile-equipped workforce?

Mobile devices have a long history of push and pull between IT managers and users in the workplace. A world of closed-down architecture that used to be dominated by the likes of BlackBerry and Microsoft has given way to an always-connected world driven by consumers and the most popular digital services of any given day, week or month.

The scales continue to lean in favor of user experience as the most popular smartphones gain equal mindshare and use among general consumers and business executives. Lawyers and sales professionals may often be using the same devices as artists and soccer moms, but what they want and expect from their device varies greatly. In many cases, these consumer-centric expectations go directly against the grain of traditional IT thinking.

While enterprises, large and small, continue to revise their strategies and practices to confront this mobile reality, the rapid cycle of innovation in mobile (particularly on the consumer front) will keep them on their toes. Video conferencing is one of many popular services that will challenge mobility managers for the coming years, but also present them with an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

Any successful bring-your-own-device (BYOD) strategy must not only be flexible enough to allow mobile video conferencing, but also encourage their use. Businesses need to embrace the inevitable and ongoing consumerization of mobility with secure, remotely managed apps that can deliver the services its employees use in their daily lives. Why fight the inevitable proliferation of video calling when your business can benefit by making it work now?

Intel, for example, is trying to give more of its employees access to audio and video conferencing capability through an “instant conferencing application” built for its massive BYOD program that reached more than 23,500 devices at the beginning of the year. When done right, mobile video conferencing will not only enable more consistent communication among internal teams, it also gives your employees a new channel to reach external prospects and customers.

Although video conferencing is still in the experimental phase, Intel is poised to see an even greater return on its investment in a large-scale BYOD program. The company said it gained 5 million hours of productivity and savings of about 57 minutes per employee workday last year with its BYOD program. How many hours of productivity and savings might your business gain if it included video conferencing capability in its BYOD program?

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