A friend of mine was responsible for creating the BYOD pilot program for a Fortune 10, $50B healthcare company. In the process he learned several important and surprising lessons, which he has kindly passed along in blog form.
One lesson he learned is that the biggest cost in developing a large corporate BYOD policy rollout may not be directly related to technology or devices at all. In many cases, it’s the tab for lawyers and HR staffers to review proposed policies, and to develop the lengthy contracts employees ultimately need to sign to use their personal devices on the corporate network.
In a recent blog, Marc Belsher of Belsher Technology Advisors shared another valuable little chestnut for companies that are considering embarking on a formal BYOD policy. To many of these companies, and the technology leaders in charge there, this may come as bad news: The fact is that from a legal standpoint, you already have an official BYOD program in place, whether your company formally recognizes it or not. In other words, if you have employees accessing company-owned and operated servers and networks – and you do – then in the eyes of the law, you have an official BYOD program in place.
As a result of having this “legal” BYOD program in operation at your business, Belsher asserts that software vendors are planning to start charging you licensing fees for all employees using corporate software with their smartphones and tablets. Microsoft may be among the first to start sending you a bill for employees accessing Exchange or SharePoint servers and the like with their smartphones, Belsher says, but other enterprise application vendors won’t be far behind.
For many companies, this will hit them like a hidden BYOD “tax” – one they weren’t expecting or budgeting for. Belsher’s advice is to start your own in-house audit now, or call in a trusted partner or consultant to do it. Better to know now what your BYOD-equipped users are up to, he says, and plan ahead for possible licensing fees you may be hit with, rather than to be surprised later when the bill arrives.