The business world is currently experiencing the phenomenon that is BYOD. Otherwise known as ‘Bring Your Own Device’, the policy involves employers allowing members of staff to use their personal mobile devices in the workplace as a way of becoming more digital and accessing company information through new technologies. So what’s the fuss all about?

Since the beginning of the digital revolution, mobile technology, such as tablets and smartphones, has become increasingly integrated into everyday life. In fact, two thirds of people in the UK now own a smartphone, and over half of households own a tablet device. And it’s no surprise that business owners have started to pick up on the range of ways internet enabled devices can benefit a company.

In today’s business world, the market is constantly evolving in order to come up with new and innovative processes that can meet the changing needs of customers. Advancements in technology mean that it is now common for employees to operate across various locations, be this from multiple offices or remotely from home. This change in working environment requires employees to be able to communicate with their colleagues, access important information and update documents, from wherever they are.

Devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, which are internet enabled, do just that, allowing employees to access data from wherever they are and at any time. However, cloud computing and data capture services are vital components in making this possible, and there are a range of applications and solutions available on the market which support this. Using cloud storage such as Dropbox, company files can be accessed remotely and updated in real-time. This type of solution saves information safely and is easily shared with colleagues or clients operating from other locations, in turn, speeding up processes and completely eliminating the need for time-consuming paperwork. Many businesses have found that workers become more productive and benefit from a more flexible and streamlined work flow by working on devices they are comfortable with.

It’s not just the updating and sharing of documents that benefit from cloud services though. Data capture is a key element across many industries, from sales teams and field marketers, to construction workers and retailers, the availability of data capture services benefits companies across the board. Often in the form of a mobile application, these solutions give mobile workers the freedom to update processes, access information and report back to head office in real-time. For example, a shop clerk can check the availability of stock and order an item for a customer without having to move from the shop floor - through real-time updates, head offices can then monitor stock levels and restock as necessary.

Similarly to Dropbox, using a cloud based application helps to eliminate the burden of physical paperwork. It also helps to save time and money and reduces user error by preventing delays in information and the risk of losing important documents.

Adopting BYOD policies can also help to reduce business costs even further. Businesses allowing workers to use their own devices in the workplace reduces the need to provide employees with expensive devices. It also encourages them to engage with their own technology, reducing training time and making for happier employees, all-in-all contributing to greater levels of productivity.

It’s undeniable that the digital landscape is expanding at a rapid pace and a large proportion of companies across a number of sectors are always looking to take advantage of new technologies. Those businesses which aren’t prepared to innovate and embrace new trends, risk falling behind. Adopting BYOD policies is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways that firms can become more tech-savvy and should be a serious consideration in order to keep up with competition.

By Colin Yates, business programmes director at WorkMobile