Why BYOD Practices Might Not Be Right for Every Company

1 - Why BYOD Practices Might Not Be Right for Every Company
2 - Security
3 - IT Service Management
4 - Voice Quality
5 - Ruggedness
6 - Battery Life
7 - Productivity
8 - Interoperability With the Call Server
9 - One Device per Job Function
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Why BYOD Practices Might Not Be Right for Every Company

by Darryl K. Taft

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A major benefit of smartphones is that they are designed to retrieve and share data in the cloud. From a security standpoint, especially in sensitive environments, such as hospitals, this increases the potential for unauthorized data access and duplication. Because purpose-built devices only operate over the confines of a secure WiFi network and don't store data on the device itself, they mitigate against the threat of unauthorized access by outsiders, lost or stolen data, and employees mistakenly or intentionally misusing sensitive corporate data.

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IT Service Management

While staff may prefer using their own device in the workforce, the variety of operating systems, apps, native security features and other nuances within consumer smartphones can be a nightmare to manage from an enterprise IT perspective. With uniform purpose-built devices for staff, IT teams don't have to deal with maintaining and integrating multiple devices into one network and can centrally manage updates, permissions and control, or lost or stolen devices centrally.

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Voice Quality

Smartphones often work well in environments with a clear cellular signal, but in massive, spacious environments not built with communication needs in mind—such as retail spaces, manufacturing plants and hospitals—are replete with dead zones. Purpose-built devices operate over the business' in-building WiFi network, ensuring that voice quality won't be compromised between workers, no matter their location within the facility.

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If there's one thing all traditional smartphones have in common is lack of durability, especially in a fast-paced, intensive environment like a hospital unit, warehouse or retail floor. Drop a phone once and you're lucky if only the screen is cracked. Purpose-built devices are designed with durability in mind and can withstand multiple drops as well as other environmental conditions like exposure to extreme temperatures, dust and cleaning agents.

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Battery Life

Workers in retail, manufacturing and health care often work on the move in environments that are nothing like the typical 9 to 5 desk job. They need their devices to keep up. Traditional smartphones often have insufficient battery lives, leading to costly and potentially dangerous delays due to dead devices and missed communications. Many purpose-built devices provide more than 8 hours of talk-time and include a replaceable battery, allowing users to swap in a fresh battery and continue working.

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Having your own mobile device in the workplace can seem convenient, but personal smartphones are filled with distractions, such as texting with friends, apps and games. So it's easy to compromise productivity. Purpose-built devices support apps and content controlled by IT ensuring that staff is focused on work-related tasks, eliminating distractions and allowing users to focus on just the features they need.

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Interoperability With the Call Server

A personal smartphone has a personal phone number, which presents problems when trying to transfer a call or maintain a directory. With purpose-built devices, the phone becomes an extension of the call server like any other wired phone, giving users the benefits of dialing by extension, call transfers and easy directories.

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One Device per Job Function

With BYOD programs, each user has his or her own personal device. However, with purpose-built devices, businesses order a device per job function. Users clock in and out and pick up the handset designed for that position, get a fresh battery and they're off to work. When they are done with their job, the next person assumes that same device and a fresh battery.

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