The Road to 2017 and the BYOD Mandatory Majority

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According to new research by Gartner, Inc. the days of the company-issued laptop may soon be gone. Based on findings from a global survey of CIOs, 38 percent of companies expect to stop providing workplace devices to staff by 2016 and that number will jump to 50 percent the following year. That means that BYOD will shift from optional to mainstream, with many organizations requiring employees to bring their own laptops, smartphones and/or tablets to work.

The research also found that while BYOD allows small companies to go mobile without significant device and service investments, it’s midsize and large organizations (2,500 to 5,000 employees) where BYOD policies are most prevalent today. And, in terms of geography, organizations in the U.S. are twice as likely to allow BYOD as those in Europe. It will be interesting to see how these numbers shift within the next few years.

Not surprisingly, security concerns are still top-of-mind for CIOs when it comes to BYOD, with the risk of data leakage a primary concern. As Gartner points out, this is due in part to the fact that some mobile devices lack a file system for applications to share data, increasing the risk that data is duplicated between applications and moved between applications and the cloud.

According to David Willis, vice president and analyst with Gartner Group, CIOs need to: 1) understand that work and personal business often overlap 2); allow employees to use devices as needed 3) provide BYOD guidelines to ensure safe, productive mobile computing:

"We're finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for non-work purposes. Once you realize that, you'll understand you need to protect data in another way besides locking down the full device. It is essential that IT specify which platforms will be supported and how; what service levels a user should expect; what the user's own responsibilities and risks are; who qualifies; and that IT provides guidelines for employees purchasing a personal device for use at work, such as minimum requirements for operating systems."

We agree with David: boosting mobile productivity is dependent on enabling employees to securely create, exchange, and collaborate on information on devices of their choosing. And that’s exactly what we’re helping hundreds of organizations make possible right now.

How will your organization address BYOD in 2017? 

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