The Benefits and Challenges of BYON in 2021

4 May 2021 | Posted by Russell Hodge

Remote working has surged in recent times, and this trend isn’t slowing down. In fact, the global percentage of people working from home permanently is expected to double in 2021. And as that number increases, another topic is swiftly rising to prominence: Bring Your Own Network (BYON).

BYON is an exciting opportunity for enterprises looking to embrace and get the most out of a remote workforce in 2021. But managing its associated costs can present several challenges.

In this blog, we explore what BYON is, how it can benefit your enterprise, and some potential pitfalls you need to be aware of when adopting it.

What is Bring Your Own Network (BYON)?

An offshoot of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement, BYON is where employees access work environments using their own personal networks instead of corporate networks. Examples include using domestic broadband to access business applications at home or setting up a hotspot with a mobile device.

BYON has been essential for business continuity during the pandemic, with employees using their personal broadband to carry on working while in lockdown. But beyond the COVID-19 crisis, having an official BYOx policy in place can offer significant advantages.

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The Greatest Benefits of BYON for Enterprises in 2021

More Flexibility and Improved Employee Satisfaction

BYON empowers your employees to work where, when, and how they want. Giving them more control and flexibility over their work environment not only improves job satisfaction, but also enables them to be more productive.

No Costly Business-class Broadband Installation

Remote working used to involve having to install business-class internet at the employee’s home. Either that, or putting up with the unreliable quality of a domestic internet connection.

Today, this is no longer the case. Consumer-class internet is now fast, affordable, and readily available. So, your employees can work from home using their own high-quality connections, and you don’t have to worry about costly installations.

Free Up IT Resources

Getting set up with BYON is very straightforward. The only things your employees need is an internet connection and a virtual private network (VPN) to access your systems securely.

The simplicity of BYON makes life much easier for your IT teams. It frees up valuable time and resources that would otherwise have been spent setting up and maintaining a business-class internet connection.

What are the Challenges of BYON?

The benefits of BYON are clear. But it also comes with some telecom expense management challenges that you need to be aware of.

Factoring In Reimbursement

In most countries, it’s currently up to enterprises whether they offer a full or partial reimbursement to cover employees’ network expenses. However, as remote working becomes the new norm, employees that aren’t reimbursed will start to wonder why they’re shouldering the expense of a premium connection that’s largely used for work purposes.

Employers will be under mounting pressure to cover the costs. Otherwise, they could find themselves with a frustrated and unhappy workforce. But this involves a significant increase in network costs, which you’ll need to factor in when adopting a BYON policy.

Getting a Clear, Consistent Picture of Your Finances

Most employees will claim reimbursement for their network costs via standard expense reporting systems. But if these claims are put through as standard business expenses, you’ll have a hard time telling which ones are network expense claims and which aren’t. This means you won’t get an accurate picture of your network finances. Without that, you can’t identify where you’re paying for unnecessary costs.

Reimbursement figures can also differ from role to role, and from team to team. Someone in accounting, for example, might be entitled to double the amount of an employee working in customer support.

The best solution to these issues is to use an automated system with a role-based approach to expense management. This gives you a better view of your BYON expenses, whilst also ensuring reimbursement is consistent across your enterprise.

An automated system makes the whole process much simpler. Instead of filling out expense forms, reimbursement is paid straight to the employee's carrier account each month. This frees up valuable time for employees to be more productive.  

Security and the Cost of VPN

One of the biggest concerns around remote working and BYON is keeping your business safe from data breaches. You have sensitive client information to protect, and home internet doesn’t offer the level of security you need at an enterprise level.

That’s why many businesses set up a VPN for employees to log into remotely. While basic and free VPN solutions are available, premium solutions that offer better security and data protection come with a monthly subscription fee. The fee itself can appear small, but it usually covers a limited number of devices. As you start to add more users, the costs start to creep up.

It’s vital to ensure your VPN expenses are being allocated correctly to your employee’s cost center. So, you can track costs and manage finances effectively across your business.

A New Network Model for a New Working Landscape

As remote working becomes the new standard, adopting the Bring Your Own Network model will be essential for enterprises across the world. However, to manage BYON costs effectively, you need a clear view of how they fit into your telecom expenses. Otherwise, you could easily lose track of those costs and end up paying for more than you should.

This is where partnering with a TEM provider that offers BYON expense management services can be invaluable. The right provider will enable you to fully embrace all the benefits of BYON and remote working, without worrying about the challenges of tracking and managing the associated costs.

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Topics: TEM, BYON

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