The so-called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work trend has led a growing number of IT organizations to consider formal policies to integrate the worker’s own tablets and smartphones.
But is demand for BYOD being driven by a relatively small minority of workers and are the additional resources needed to support it justified?
In a new report by IDC that analyzed the BYOD trend in Australia and New Zealand, the research firm says that it’s clear an increasing number of CIO and IT decision makers are feeling pressure to transform their organizations to address the top down push by executives and bottom up demand by staffers to support consumer tech like media tablets and smartphones.
"Widely publicized and high-profile BYOD case studies are further adding to the peer pressure. One in every two organizations are intending to deploy official BYOD policies, be it pilots, or partial- to organizational-wide rollouts, in the next 18 months," said Amy Cheah, market analyst for Infrastructure at IDC ANZ.
"However, there is a disconnect between the assumptions and expectations held by CIOs and IT decision makers — and commonly by supply-side organizations — and the majority of employees when it comes to consumer technologies, device usage, and responsibility,” Cheah added. “IDC's Next Generation Workspace Ecosystem research has found that only two out of ten employees want to use their own device for work and for personal use, which means corporate devices are still desired by the majority."
Companies that fully embrace BYOD could face a number of integration and maintenance challenges. For example, IDC notes a BYOD policy likely brings with it a broader range of devices and operating systems connecting to the corporate network at a more frequent rate, considering the shorter life cycle of many consumer devices. Another issue is more frequent upgrades of OSes and the need to ensure application performance as these upgrades occur.
The IDC report doesn’t take a pro or con position regarding BYOD but does details key issues that need to be considered in implementing such a policy.
"Whilst many expect BYOD to help reduce costs, these shorter life cycles will need to be managed carefully in order to mitigate any blowouts in support, application modernization, and lost employee productivity," said Cheah.