4 Ways to Accommodate BYOD Growth with UC
According to a recent market research study from ReportLinker, the Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market size is estimated to grow from $17.35 billion in 2016 to $28.69 billion by 2021. The report indicates this rapid growth is due to the growing bring your own device (BYOD) and mobility trends, the increasing need for communication infrastructure across the world and the increase in adoption of UCaaS products, as companies look to shift these costs from a capital expenditure to an operating expense. Another driving force for the growth in UCaaS is the digitization of businesses and accelerating adoption of cloud services by small, medium and large enterprises.
BYOD has become common in the workplace. Using a personal device to complete daily job functions - whether inside or outside the office – is simply “the norm” nowadays. When traveling or working remotely, the average worker now uses their mobile devices more than their laptops for functions like email, chatting and internet web portal checks. As a result, there is a greater need for unified communications (UC) managers to be able to monitor, track and secure these devices, and control corporate data.
The sheer number of mobile devices now in use is unprecedented. Market research company, IMS Research, predicts that smartphone sales will increase to over 1 billion in 2016. As noted by Andrew W. Davis, an analyst at Wainhouse Research:
"Today, only about one of every five white collar employees works solely in the office."
As a result, compliance, management and security challenges arise as employees are travelling, using various enterprise UC apps and accessing company data in order to continue to connect with other employees, customers and vendors. So, what are some steps companies can take to address these issues?
1. Conduct a Mobile UC Audit
IT needs to fully determine which devices attach to their enterprise network at any given time.
2. Establish an Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile UC
Companies can reduce potential legal exposure by having acceptable use policies that clearly define proper and improper usage handling from the start.
3. Develop Sound Security Practices Around Mobile UC
If devices are lost, stolen, or removed from corporate access by a disgruntled employee, safeguards need to be put in place to mitigate potential damage to the company. Complex password policies, remote wiping capabilities and labeling devices with corporate information are a few examples of practices to assist in this process.
4. Invest in Mobile Device Management Solutions
These tools should include auditing and device tracking tools to help businesses manage handheld systems.
West is positioned in the top five key unified communication service providers profiled in the ReportLinker study mentioned above. As an industry and Gartner Magic Quadrant leader in UCaaS for five years and counting, we seek to bridge the gaps between people – whether it’s between internal team members, outside clients or suppliers - with tools like Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Skype for Business that can turn a remote user’s smartphone into an office phone, using a soft client. With a soft client installed on each mobile device, all of the functionality and security of the UC features available at the corporate office are transferred to each remote device.
Moreover, features such as secure VPN connectivity and collaboration tools help to garner employee efficiency while still facilitating a means for companies to track and protect company data. With a secure connection to the enterprise UC system, both employees and managers can rest assured that corporate data and communications will stay safe, regardless of access time or location.
With today’s mass use of mobile devices, especially the trend towards BYOD in the workplace, the UC market continues to boom. Not only does this change the way that companies do business, but it dramatically changes how employees utilize UC to interact with company data. With real-time, enterprise UC systems like those available from West, companies are able to improve efficiency and productivity, and streamline communication, while still maintaining control over their data and corporately-used mobile devices. Choosing a UCaaS leader like West will ensure that your proprietary data will stay safe and secure, no matter where it resides.