When you walk in your office you are used to your employer providing a workspace, desktop, coffee and more. By 2017, you will still get your coffee, but might have to lug your own device at work as the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend becomes mainstream.
As BYOD programs become more commonplace, 38% companies expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2017, according to a global survey of CIOs by Gartner, a research firm.
"BYOD strategies are the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, in a release. "The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs."
Gartner defines a BYOD strategy as an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use a personally selected and purchased client device (like a tablet, a laptop or a smartphone) to execute enterprise applications and access data. It typically spans smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs. It may or may not include a subsidy.
BYOD drives innovation for CIOs and the business by increasing the number of mobile application users in the workforce. Rolling out applications throughout the workforce presents myriad new opportunities beyond traditional mobile email and communications. Applications such as time sheets, punch lists, site check-in/check-out, and employee self-service HR applications are just a few examples. Expanding access and driving innovation will ultimately be the legacy of the BYOD phenomenon.
"However, the business case for BYOD needs to be better evaluated," said Mr Willis. "Most leaders do not understand the benefits, and only 22% believe they have made a strong business case. Like other elements of the Nexus of Forces ( cloud, mobile, social and information), mobile initiatives are often exploratory and may not have a clearly defined and quantifiable goal, making IT planners uncomfortable. If you are offering BYOD, take advantage of the opportunity to show the rest of the organization the benefits it will bring to them and to the business."
Gartner believes that while BYOD is occurring in companies and governments of all sizes, it is most prevalent in midsize and large organizations ($500 million to $5 billion in revenue, with 2,500 to 5,000 employees). BYOD also permits smaller companies to go mobile without a huge device and service investment. Adoption varies widely across the globe. Companies in the US are twice as likely to allow BYOD as those in Europe, where BYOD has the lowest adoption of all the regions. In contrast, employees in India, China and Brazil are most likely to be using a personal device, typically a standard mobile phone, at work.