It was not long ago that Sonic Boom Wellness was publishing eBooks that said “just say ‘no’ to bring-your-own-device (BYOD)”. We strongly disagreed with this approach and published our own eBook around the same time suggesting it was truly the way to go. Although the topic is still being debated by some wellness and human resource professionals, most naysayers have embraced a BYOD wellness strategy. This is arguably most evident by Sonic Boom’s recent change on the topic. We applaud Sonic Boom for entering the New Year by incorporating a BYOD wellness strategy as part of its programs.
All that we ask Sonic Boom (and other groups looking to embrace BYOD) is to go all in with the strategy. First, this includes embracing all major devices, not just a few. The device market is very fragmented that no single device makes up more than 25% of the market. This makes breadth of technologies a vendor integrates with very important. Second, include mobile apps, not just devices. This will broaden the breadth of wellness options for employees even more, thereby creating more opportunities to engage individuals in their health. It also allows employers to launch programs without paying for devices. Last, vendors need to quit producing their own proprietary device. Part of embracing a BYOD wellness strategy is also embracing a consumer wellness strategy. Unless for some reason an employee wellness vendor has some secret sauce that makes their device better than consumer alternatives, the only reason to produce a device is for profits, not outcomes. Also, if a vendor’s device is better than its consumer alternatives, they should sell it on the consumer market (Fitbit is a multi-billion dollar business!), which should do even more to satisfy their profit motive.
We have been arguing for a BYOD wellness strategy since our inception and are happy to see many people have embraced the concept. As the industry continues to evolve, we hope that more companies will follow the footsteps of Sonic Boom and pivot their strategy towards BYOD as well. We also hope that those who do embrace BYOD, including Sonic Boom, do so fully by increasing the number of devices and apps available on their platform and ceasing production of their proprietary devices.