Making the case against BYOD

19 October 2020

The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach to the mobile enterprise has quietly infiltrated businesses across South Africa. Its advantages, including handset provisioning cost savings for the organisation and freedom of choice for employees, have helped entrench the BYOD approach.

But BYOD is not necessarily the best model for business today, says Shamit Makan, Head of Business Solutions at Adapt IT. “In a fully BYOD or hybrid environment, the organisation must secure and manage an overabundance of assorted handsets, and even more SIM cards. Each employee might have multiple devices with associated 3G cards, many of which the organisation is paying for through telecoms allowances. In an unmanaged BYOD or hybrid environment, the organisation has no visibility of crucial factors – like who uses how much data, whether data allocations are sufficient, and how the organisation engages with its customers.”


Screenshot 2020-10-19 at 09.31.23

In an unmanaged BYOD or hybrid environment, the organisation has no visibility of crucial factors


In a BYOD environment, the organisation typically does not have access to the transactional data from calls made and received on employee devices – which could potentially give valuable insights into the organisation’s communications patterns and client engagements.

“While many people have made a case against BYOD due to the potential data security risks associated with it, not many have highlighted the loss of valuable insights and data as a result of a BYOD approach,” says Makan. “Additionally, there is a strong case to be made against BYOD when it comes to the procurement of technology and telecom services. If a single organisational account is negotiated with a single service provider to provision all employee mobile communications, the organisation finds itself positioned to secure preferential pricing on voice and data, which it can then reallocate to business units and individuals within the company.

With effective Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) and Technology Expense Management (TEM) tools in place, the organisation can accurately determine what voice and data services are needed where, and allocate resources where needed, without wasted expense on unused data or incurring out of bundle rates where allocations were insufficient, Makan notes. “And with complete visibility of the mobile device call patterns within the organisation, it becomes possible to implement new applications or closed user group solutions where appropriate. Effective management tools likewise simplify the task of distinguishing personal use costs from organisational costs.”

While BYOD may be popular for a variety of reasons, organisations could more effectively control technology and telecom expenses, gain better control of overall communications, and access the valuable intelligence associated with the mobile environment by consolidating technology and telecoms procurement and management under the organisational banner, He says.