The incredible growth in sales of tablets and smartphones during the past few years is changing the landscape for business, leading to increased demands for knowledgeable business consultants that understand the dynamics of this rapid change and the opportunities and risks it presents. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept has also become popular over the past few years.
The latest statistics really emphasise the speed of this change:
- Nearly 1 Billion smartphones will be shipped this year, overtaking basic mobile phones for the first time, according to IDC.
- Tablets, such as the iPad, have already overtaken laptops – just 3 years after being introduced – with shipments of around 230 Million expected this year, pushing them 20% ahead of laptops. In fact, tablets are expected to pass sales of all PC form factors in 2015, reaching sales of around 330 Million.
Recognising the desire of employees to take advantage of the latest technology to make them more productive, companies are embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept , with an iPass survey carried out in December & January showing that 81% of companies accommodate personal devices in the office, and 54% of them having formalised policies for this.
This is where the need for consultants becomes apparent – nearly half of the world’s companies don’t have formal policies that address this urgent issue, and the problem becomes more apparent when we realise that the top 2 sources of frustration in IT departments relate to onboarding and supporting personal devices (thus approving the BYOD practise) in the office. This even eclipses security concerns, although these, of course, become even more of an issue with such devices.
In fact, over half (55%) of companies surveyed reported some form of security issue in the past year, mainly in connection with lost or stolen phones. When you consider that in 2011, over 70 million smartphones were stolen (we don’t yet have the data for 2012), and only 7% of these were recovered, the size of the problem really becomes apparent. Even with laptops, companies can expect to lose one in ten during their lifetime (3-4 years).
When we then consider that, according to IDC, 70% of enterprise data now resides on mobile devices and yet three out of four companies lack comprehensive policies for managing and securing their mobile devices, while nearly 60% of lost smartphones were unprotected, the enormous scale of the costs to business become clear.
So, given this, why are companies embracing the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept?
Simply put, because allowing staff to choose and use their own devices increases employee satisfaction, improves productivity and reduces cost to the company. Over half of mobile workers report working more than 50 hours per week, and nearly one in five reports putting in over 60 hours each week. The gains here are tangible, as are the cost reductions through companies not needing to invest so heavily in such devices themselves.
Companies need to take full advantage of the benefits of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), while minimising the risks through putting comprehensive policies, systems and procedures in place that will minimise the risks and costs inherent in the loss of such mobile devices. Doing so will improve their performance, competitiveness and bottom line. Failure to do so risks them being left behind.
Note: I first posted this on the Business Connexion blog on 12 Jun.
- Dont let a BYOD policy create an OMG moment for your small firm (hiscox.co.uk)
- A beginner’s guide to BYOD: Real solutions for the real-life issues facing enterprises (itproportal.com)
- Scary BYOD Data Protection Trends: 10 Common Problems (eweek.com)
- BYOD use rises among businesses (shoretelsky.com)
- Unlocking the potential of mobile devices (epicafinance.com)
Considering the huge security risk BYOD entails, I’m sure it’s all about reducing coss. Staff could easily chose what device they prefer instead of bringing their own.
Can’t help wondering how long it will take until staff, and not the board and management, will be held responsible if a company goes bancrupt:-)
Hi Catarina – there’s no question that costs are a big factor, but it certainly improves productivity and morale if people are able to use their own devices. Allowing people to choose a device would add considerably to costs as employees often move on before a device is written off.
Having a decent BYOD policy with the appropriate controls can ensure the corporate risk is no higher than with any company-supplied devices, so I suspect that the executives and board will continue to be held responsible 🙂