BYO device - boom or blip

Last year I attempted to forecast the big technology trends of 2012.  I made a number of predictions – one was ‘bring-your-own-device goes official’.

Here’s what I said about it last year:

“Most companies in 2012 will roll out policies, procedures and technology (including Mobile Device Management) to allow staff to use their own smartphones and tablets in a controlled and safe way. Some will even subsidise employees to buy their own devices as an alternative to handing out corporate handsets.”

The reality

I was directionally correct, although ‘most’ is not yet quite true. Bring-your-own-device (BYOD) momentum has increased significantly since last year; it’s been one of the most talked about trends in 2012. It brings a number of benefits, and the simplicity of rolling out such a programme is now being realised by many businesses.

Research shows that 28% of businesses now provide official support for employees to use their own devices (a rise from 15% last year)1.  38% of UK companies are reported to offer a hybrid BYOD/Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled (COPE) model1, and 77% are planning to allow staff to use personal devices to access company data and apps.1,

How businesses are making it work

Security is always a concern, so organisations are using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions. These enable employees to register their personal devices for access to corporate data, in return for allowing corporate IT to enforce security policies on the device. Selective remote wipe capability means that if a device is lost or stolen, or the employee leaves, company information is erased before it gets into the wrong hands.

Companies that want the benefits of BYOD but do not have the resource to manage an in-house MDM solution have been making use of BYOD as a managed service from third-party providers.

BYOD helps empower and motivate employees. With the right tools for the job, they can provide a better customer experience. It removes the need for large, upfront investments, so businesses can benefit from the latest technology. And people who need to be mobile to do their jobs well are free to do so, while staying connected to their team, office network, and customers.

To find out more about consumerisation and BYOD, visit o2.co.uk/enterprise/our-solutions/joined-up-people/consumerisation or call Matt Worth on 01235 433 507.

1 Yankee Group, 2012

2 Absolute Software research, December 2012