Mobile employees have been worrying IT managers for years. It all started with pagers, PDAs, and the first cellular phones. Now iPads, smartphones, and a slew of other Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices are on track to outnumber desktop computers. The local area network (LAN) that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, computer lab, or office building is fading fast. Most enterprise networks are moving to wireless as the primary way to connect. In the same way that video killed the radio star; Wi-Fi enabled devices and the BYOD trend are killing the LAN. Mobile devices that were restricted by IT managers are now considered indispensible for everyday operations.
Do you think the BYOD trend is not real, or a fad? According to ZDNET, about 75% of enterprises now have a “bring your own device” policy in place. That’s nearly three-quarters of companies surveyed—so yeah BYOD is for real.
A quarter of organizations give employees a whitelist of allowed devices, while almost half let employees bring in and use any device.
Bring Your Own Device? It’s real. Nearly three-quarters of companies allow employee-owned smartphones and/or tablets to be used at work, according to Aberdeen data (mix of late 2010 and 2011 surveys). A quarter give employees a whitelist of allowed devices, while almost half let employees bring in and use any device.
Here are four trends that motivate companies to try BYOD:
Employee gratification: device lust is no longer just for tech geeks. Employees love BYOD at work. Allowing BYOD can be a real motivational tool. Employees, particularly younger, on-the-move employees, see the brand of a laptop or smartphone as a lifestyle choice and an important part of who they are. Of course Apple is at the epicenter of this movement.
Tech developments: the days of compatibility problems and sharing issues from Mac to Windows are ancient history. A few anti-trust lawsuits got everyone’s attention and a solution was found. The compatibility problems were one thing. In the past the size, weight, and cost of computers made mobile computing an oxymoron. In 1983 BYOD would not have been possible. This 29 pound BASF 7000 computer would have been nearly impossible to bring to work. Today’s shinny mobile devices are easy to transport and don’t weight a ton.
Telecommuting and mobile workers: some of the same technical developments listed above enable more and more workers to work from home, remotely, or on-the-go. Other technical developments like secure file transfer and secure collaboration allow external employees to be productive and secure.
Cost: back in the good old days a computer like the BASF 7000 would have hurt your back and strained your IT budget. At $2800 ($6000 at today’s dollar) this beast of burden cost an arm and a leg. Just think about that next time your fingers are deftly gliding across your light weight tablet or smartphone. With the cost of laptops and tablets around $500 the cost factor, like the BASF 7000, is a thing of the past.
At Accellion we see the BYOD trend as a shift in the increasing demand for mobile access to file sharing. If you haven’t already tried out the Accellion mobile apps here is the link.
Aberdeen 2011 Wireless Expense Management: Control International Roaming and the BYOD Revolution. The multimedia content can be viewed at: http://www.aberdeen.com/aberdeen-library/7240/RA-wireless-expense-management.aspx
Lai, E. (2011). 75% of enterprises have ‘bring your own device’ policies. what that means. http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sybase/75-of-enterprises-have-bring-your-own-device-policies-what-that-means-charts/1025
The Buggles. (1979). Video killed the radio star [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwuy4hHO3YQ