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How Blackstone is finding BYOD success with BYOA(pple)

Joan Goodchild | March 5, 2013
Among the 1800 Blackstone employees in 24 offices worldwide, there are currently 600 privately-owned iPads being used for work.

As far as the users know, they can have all of their documents and collaborate with them as they have before.

What was the C-suite reaction to this policy?

There was certainly a sales pitch in terms of the value. But, again, I think the iPad was the game changer. Everyone got one and everyone loves it. So, kudos to Apple as it relates to changing behaviors. It wasn't something you had to drag people to. It was something they were pushing to use.

We now have C-suite execs who previously had very limited screen time that are now consuming their email via iPad, and bringing it on the road when they previously didn't use technology at all while traveling.

Have you been able to measure any ROI on this yet?

We have two different use cases to explain ROI. The first is we've implemented WatchDox at our conferences. Employees can bring their own iPads, or we give them loaners for the day if they don't have one. In doing this, we have cut out hundreds of thousands in printing costs.

Internally, with everyone bringing their own iPad, the ROI is tremendous because we are adding value, and the cost is relatively contained to a WatchDox license, which isn't super cheap, but its very easy to measure value add just in cheaper Fed Ex costs, or improved productivity, for example.

What's next?

We haven't sponsored significant firm-wide purchase of iPads, which would obviously change cost dynamics, but we are looking at that. I don't know what the right answer is on that, or when it is going to become such a core tool that the firm has to provide that for our users, but we are continuing to measure and figure out of that is the case -- and see if it's necessary to do that or not.


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