Managing the Changing IT Landscape: BYOD
Many IT managers are still second-guessing BYOD. This powerfully disruptive force in the enterprise brings with it a range of IT security concerns that can cause IT to overlook any productivity benefits.
However, this dynamic is changing. Organizations that take a proactive and methodical approach to BYOD can effectively increase security and improve productivity to realize a positive ROI with managed risk.
There are numbers to back it up. According to a recent IDG Enterprise survey of 1,155 IT decision makers, BYOD productivity is starting to pay off. As mobile devices change the way that people work, the business benefits of BYOD are becoming clear. And in turn, IT leaders are looking ahead to formulate a long-term strategy for success.
Here are some key findings revealed by enterprise IT managers:
- Clear ROI – Nearly 70 percent of respondents have realized positive ROI from enterprise BYOD.
- Work anywhere – Almost half of respondents expect mobile apps to significantly increase employee productivity.
- Value beyond e-mail – While 80 percent of respondents said e-mail access was critical, there’s a trend of adding more traditional business applications like customer relationship management (CRM) and business intelligence tools.
- Work together – Sixty-three percent of respondents expect either a dramatic or moderate positive impact on process efficiency and collaboration.
- Growing support – Sixty percent of companies support employees’ personally owned laptops, 52 percent support smart phones, and 43 percent support tablets.
Tablet Support On The Rise
Tablets are both popular and productive in an enterprise environment, and industry innovation around tablets continues to grow at an incredible pace. Citing an ABI Research statistic, the CTIA Wireless Association stated that 285 million tablets were in use across the enterprise in 2013, and this will continue to increase.
According to the IDG survey, nearly half of enterprise IT managers plan to invest further in tablets, along with the employee training needed to support and secure the technology. And there are clear expectations for growth. Fifty-five percent of respondents expect to service and support tablets in the coming 12 to 18 months, compared to 43 percent who say they service and support those devices now. Interestingly, “the support numbers are expected to remain relatively stable for laptops, tablets and desktops, as similar percentages expect to support these devices 12–18 months from now,” according to the survey.
Improving Productivity, Securely
Intel IT began embracing BYOD in the enterprise in 2010 and is constantly working to expand its program for employees, including the support of over 20,000 Android* devices. One of the key elements of the program is a strong partnership with employees and business leaders, coupled with an innovative security model that adjusts network and data access based on a variety of environmental and technology factors.
I thought it was interesting that the overall findings from the IDG study support a paper I helped publish last year on the future implications of IT consumerization. IT has been forced to take a new approach to security and device management that centers on user choice. If consumerization is embraced and done right, it can be a real benefit for employees and for business productivity.