Feeds

Forget choice: 50% of firms will demand you BYOD by 2017

Are we going to have to rent our own office space next?

Boost IT visibility and business value

When you are as bombarded by BYOD good-news stories as El Reg is these days, the central marketing message that emerges is it's all about "freedom of choice." Not for long, it seems, if the Gartner's analysts are correct: they forecast that half of all companies will enforce "choice" as a condition of employment.

The biggest adopters of BYOD will be mid-sized and large companies in the $500m to $5bn in revenue range with 2,500 to 5,000 employees, the analyst house predicts. But smaller companies starting-up are also big adopters, using smartphones, laptops, and wireless to save on building a dedicated network. This combination, along with government adoption, will drive BYOD into 38 percent of firms in 2016 and fully half a year later.

"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," said David Willis, distinguished analyst at Gartner in a statement. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs."

It's that latter fact that's behind the huge popularity of BYOD with corporate bean-counters, although there's plenty of data showing the resultant security risks and support costs make it a false economy at times. There are a lot of companies out there claiming to offer the perfect BYOD security and/or support, but none make a bullet-proof case.

Nevertheless, half of the firms Gartner talked to rated themselves as having a high level of corporate data security on mobile devices – although El Reg wonders how many front-line IT admins agree. Willis said that the maturity of the market in BYOD administration tools should solve any nagging problems – so it's up to IT managers to sort it out.

"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," he suggests.

There's also the CEO factor to consider in BYOD's popularity. After the iPhone and iPad kicked off, a lot of IT staff started getting support calls from top management wanting to know why they couldn't open an Excel spreadsheet on their shiny new Jobsian fondleslab.

With the top brass and the bean-counters sold on the concept, BYOD has become something IT must sort out, it seems, and something the rest of us will have to pay for whether we like it or not. The days of the corporate-issue smartphone could be numbered in the long term, and it's going to be up to you to provide your own tools, Willis states.

"The enterprise should subsidize only the service plan on a smartphone," he said. "What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs."

That might fly well with the bean-counters, but it's going to be a bit cheeky to ask workers to pay for their own tools in this hack's opinion. That next – desk-rental and per-square toilet roll charges? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.