The Growth of BYOD and its Influence on Mobile Learning

Posted on March 22, 2016

The growth of BYOD and its influence on mobile learning

As a concept, BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, has been around since 2009. It involves people using their own phones in the workplace for work related activities. This often extends to outside of normal office hours as well. Of course people used their own phones in the workplace before 2009, but BYOD as a business strategy was recognised at around that time.

Why Businesses Like BYOD

The main motivating factor for businesses adopting a BYOD policy is cost. Allowing employees to use their own phones represents considerable savings on the purchase of hardware and the ongoing costs of phone contracts. This applies even when you take into account the expenses that are repaid to employees.

There are other benefits that BYOD brings to businesses. This includes the fact that employees are familiar with how to use their own devices, so training times are reduced. Also, employees are usually more likely to have more up-to-date devices than a company would purchase on a standard procurement cycle.

There are downsides of course, including problems with security. The IT departments of some companies also believe it is more time consuming to support personal devices because there is no standardisation.

Policies and procedures are being developed to deal with these issues because, looking at the numbers, BYOD is a concept that is still growing.

What Are The Numbers?

In research conducted by Tech Pro Research, 74 percent of companies already allow BYOD or have plans to introduce it in the near future. It happens in a wide variety of organisations, but the most common are smaller companies and those in the technology industries. Government employers are the least likely to permit BYOD.

The concept is most common in the US and Europe.

How Has BYOD Influenced Mobile Learning?

BYOD has significantly influenced mobile learning both for employees and for companies. From an employee perspective, mobile learning using their own device is appealing for all the same reasons that BYOD is appealing:

  • They are comfortable with how the phone works
  • They can use it at a time and place that suits them
  • They don’t have to worry about carrying, charging and looking after two phones (one personal phone and a company-issued phone for work related activities)

As using their own device is appealing to employees, they will be more motivated to progress through the course, and they will get better results. This is beneficial to the employer as good results from a training course means improved returns on investment.

Employers also get the cost saving benefits of BYOD, i.e. deploying a mobile learning course that a company’s employees complete on their own devices is one of the most cost effective ways of delivering the training. It is obviously cheaper than having to purchase the mobile devices, but it is also less expensive than other ways of delivering a course, including via other e-learning platforms or through a traditional training session.

Finally, BYOD empowers employees to take responsibility for their training and learning. This has the potential to increase the general skill and knowledge level of the people in your organisation.

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