Bring Your Own Device: The Facts And The Future

Bring-your-own device (BYOD) can cause enormous headaches for the IT department if it isn't done right. Check out Gartner's data on how BYOD is impacting the modern workplace -- then download the full guide for free.

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In just a few years' time, BYOD programs have gone from being a rarity to being common in business and government. Initially these programs evolved as a way to provide the employee a choice of devices which had been formerly unavailable or limited by the business, such as an iPad, iPhone or Android device. Some employees would like to carry a single device for work and personal use rather than two functionally equivalent devices. Based on Gartner inquiries with early adopters, employees' satisfaction with their employer and with their IT department consistently improves when BYOD programs are introduced. But this wave has only just begun, and attitudes may change as employers get more aggressive with the policy.

Consumer adoption of mobile devices has become mainstream worldwide. In developed markets, over half of the eligible workforce and two-thirds of households already have a smartphone that can run apps and has a capable browser. Many employees are already way ahead of their employers, so to some extent, policies are simply catching up to reality. Already, over 60% of workers report using a personal device at least once a day in their work; 44% use a personal smartphone in their job

Another factor is the movement toward contract personnel, temporary and seasonal workers, co-employed workers, and other nontraditional relationships. Many of these workers consider themselves "free agents" in charge of their own technology solutions.

In short, technology has become democratised.

But consumer adoption and the democratisation of IT are only part of the story, and several other factors have to be considered. BYOD is coming into the workplace at the same time that organizations are looking to expand their use of mobility, which is now the No. 2 technology initiative for CIOs in 2013 (behind analytics and business intelligence, a capability which is itself going increasingly mobile). Leading organizations see great potential in expanding the number of workers that have access to applications via mobile devices, extending well beyond the traditional executive and management ranks and into hourly personnel.

Rolling out applications throughout the workforce presents a myriad of new opportunities beyond traditional mobile email and communications. Applications such as time sheets, punch lists, site check-in/check-out, and employee self-service HR applications are just a few examples. Expanding access and driving innovation will ultimately be the legacy of the BYOD phenomenon -- much like departmental and personal computing introduced process improvements where old host-based data processing systems could simply not function.

We project that the number of workers having mobile access to applications will soon double, due to the shift deeper into the workforce and the push to go beyond voice and email.

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Bring Your Own Device: The Facts And The Future

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