June 10, 2014
In Part One, we discuss the growing trend of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in the government sector. Now we’ll take a look at why BYOD has become so popular, and the benefits that many government agencies are seeing from implementing these types of programs.
With increasing workloads and limited resources, tools and programs that increase productivity are imperative. BYOD gives employees the ability to access and share information on the go. It also gives them the flexibility to work remotely, and to use devices that they feel comfortable with. This can lead to greater efficiency among employees and higher quality work product.
Within government agencies that have already implemented BYOD programs, both employees and agency executives are reporting increased productivity from the use of mobile devices overall and BYOD programs specifically. A 2012 CDW-G report found that 89 percent of federal employees who use a mobile device for work say it makes them more productive. And in a 2012 GovLoop survey of federal, state, and local government agencies, 58 percent of respondents cited improved productivity as a benefit of BYOD policies.
Improved Public Services
In addition to increased productivity, BYOD programs can also lead to better service to constituents. BYOD allows government employees across a range of agencies at federal, state, and local levels to respond more quickly to constituent needs or operational problems that arise outside of traditional work hours. They can also play a key role in coordinated emergency response practices and disaster-related contingency plans, allowing ongoing communication between government personnel and agencies at critical times when traditional communications mediums may be unavailable.
And according to a 2012 CDW-G report, 69 percent of federal employees agree that increased mobility will improve service to citizens.
Another major benefit of implementing a BYOD program is increased cost-savings. Here are some areas where BYOD can help government agencies reduce costs:
Now let’s take a look at some examples of cost savings achieved through BYOD programs:
- The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) Virtual Desktop Implementation diminished the need and reduced the expense of replacing hardware every 3 to 4 years, saving TTB $1.2 million.
- Through the voice/data reimbursement portion of Delaware’s rapidly growing BYOD program, the state has projected annual savings of up to $2.5 million, plus about$200,000 annually in lowered device life cycle and IT support costs.
Employees, especially younger staff, generally accept the trade-off of taking on device purchase and (shared) data plan costs associated with BYOD programs in exchange for the authority to choose their own device. By giving employees the flexibility to choose a device that they feel comfortable with, and the ability to work remotely, satisfaction increases and, in turn, so does overall productivity and work-product quality.
With all of these benefits, you may be wondering, why wouldn’t a government agency allow BYOD? But do these benefits outweigh the risks? In the next post we’ll discuss the risks associated with BYOD and what government agencies should consider before implementing a BYOD program.