BYOD is here to stay, but should CIOs respond?

12 Jun 13

BYOD is here to stay and business leaders need to respond and adapt now to this change in employee behaviour, rather than being steamrollered by it.

Urging CIOs to respond with a clear strategy, strategy analysts Ovum says the BYOX (bring-your-own-anything) phenomenon shows no signs of disappearing, as nearly 70% of employees who own a smartphone or tablet choose to use it to access corporate data.

As the personal tablet market continues to grow, rising from 28.4% to 44.5% over the last 12 months according to Ovum's recent employee study, more businesses will see such devices on their networks.

And Ovum's consumer impact technology analyst Richard Absalom believes this activity will continue whether the CIO wants it to or not.

“Trying to stand in the path of consumerised mobility is likely to be a damaging and futile exercise,” he says.

Claiming that 67.8% of smartphone-owning employees bring their own smartphone to work, Absalom says 15.4% of these do so without the IT department’s knowledge, while 20.9% do so in spite of an anti-BYOD policy.

“We believe businesses are better served by exploiting this behaviour to increase employee engagement and productivity, and promote the benefits of enterprise mobility," he says.

BYOA

Ovum’s research also depicts the rise of the bring-your-own-application (BYOA) trend.

While email and calendar remains the most commonly used application on both corporately provisioned and personally owned devices, the usage of new-generation cloud productivity applications, such as enterprise social networking, file sync and share and IM/VoIP, is growing fast.

Absalom insists these types of apps are increasingly being sourced by employees themselves and not through managed corporate channels – 25.6% of employees discovered their own enterprise social networking apps, while 22.1% and 30.7% of employees discovered their own file sync and share apps and IM/VoIP apps, respectively.

“The thread that runs through all of the data is that IT is not keeping up with the changing demands and behaviour patterns of the new mobilised, consumerised workforce," he says.

"Nowhere is this clearer than in the BYOA data.

"If employees are sourcing their own applications to do their job, then IT is not delivering the right tools or a good enough user experience for its employees."

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