Bring Your Own Device

How the BYOD flood is sweeping away the IT department's priorities

The explosion in consumer devices is making CIOs rethink their plans for IT.

The trickle of consumer devices into the office has turned into a flood, sweeping away IT departments' priorities and forcing them to rethink investments.

IT analyst firm TechMarketView calculates that five million employees in the UK are already using their own devices in the office as bring your own device (BYOD) momentum builds. This figure will rise to 9.5 million by 2016.

As a result, spending on related software services will grow from £176m ($280m) in 2012 to £675m ($1.1bn) by 2016. This rapid uptake of BYOD will force companies to rethink their IT spending, making them divert budget from other areas of IT spend to pay for BYOD projects.

IT departments will be spending more in areas such as security - especially encryption - mobile-device management, building enterprise application stores and infrastructure upgrades to support increased data loads due to hosting of virtualised data and applications for BYOD users.

And the BYOD revolution is bad news for companies supplying hardware and support because responsibility for support will shift to the employee and away from IT departments.

Phil Codling, research director and author of the report at TechMarketView said the BYOD trend is a "double-edged sword", adding: "While rapid and sustained adoption will lead to a £2bn ($3.2bn) opportunity for the UK IT market, it will be a huge disruptor to supplier partnerships and business models."

In particular the move to staff using their own devices in the workplace is bad news for desktop and mobile hardware suppliers who "need to find new business models and revenue drivers to counter this", said Codling.

The report, BYOD: opportunities and threats from disruption, said two key groups of employees are driving BYOD: senior managers at board level asking IT to sync their personal devices with work and the number of younger employers entering the workplace with high expectations of using their personal devices with work applications - although the attitudes of this second group have been disputed.

"IT finds it harder to say no to senior management," said Codling, which is one reason the BYOD trend is accelerating.

About

Steve Ranger is the UK editor of TechRepublic, and has been writing about the impact of technology on people, business and culture for more than a decade. Before joining TechRepublic he was the editor of silicon.com.

12 comments
AudeKhatru
AudeKhatru

-Upper management can't figure out how to use a PC. -Upper management does not want to use the IT selected Blackberrys Suddenly, BYOD is a flood. I think it is more of a flood among tech writers than it is in most businesses. I think that the UK info about new young employees NOT expecting to use their own devices is correct. I expect that most people expect to be given what they will use at work. Yes, there will always be a few trendsetters out at the edge, using their own equipment rather than the company provided stuff, and yes execs aren't smart enough to figure out PCs so they need to use iPads, but honestly, who really cares about them anyway. They get what they want, but not everything they want is good for the business, and trickle down doesn't work any better in the workplace than it does in economics. BYOD is a buzz word for tech writers, but I don't see any real trend towards BYOD in the real world.

Saudk
Saudk

Before Apple fooled everyone into thinking beauty over brains and pretty over powerful, IT was a respected and feared department. with BYOD (which i hope never catches on to the mainstream corporations and multi national companies) IT professionals have to listen to the tantrums of users who want to circumvent the policies just because they have VP backing. The cloud and other remote management solutions are hurting IT departments as everything would be outsourced and the infrastructure you spent your blood and sweat on building and maintaining gets replaced by these remote technologies. there is no personal level support etc etc. IT was better when things didn't need to be explained and a policy was enforced by discplinary action regardless who the pertrator is.

ypsrudy
ypsrudy

The way I see it a company needs consistency in operating procedures and work flow should be a smooth transition through out the departments in their company. If a company would allow employees to byod then I think they are hurting themselves. I think they are going to regret their decision to allow BYOD into their workplace. But in the end when it's all played out "We'll See" Just a thought from a person that does, Work flow analysis for small business companies. Mr D.

mdwalls
mdwalls

Why should I bring my own tools to the job? About the only job class where this makes sense is auto mechanics. So the IT group gets its budget cut (because employees supply their own computing tools) and get hammered with supporting a new and constantly shifting set of end-user devices. The business unit gets a downcheck in productivity because of issues when an employee's tablet flakes out and isn't covered with an immediate repair/replace support plan. Senior management looks brilliant because they "saved" some money, and get to blame the rank and file for all the resulting problems. Oh, I forgot. We workers get the "convenience" of using a device we're already familiar with. Never mind that corporate gets significant control and oversight over what else I do with it, 24/7. A definite win-win scenario, as I see it.

Pete6677
Pete6677

Keep dreaming about the old BOFH days of IT. Its not coming back.

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

The Proletariat (errr---I mean *skilled trades*)? Here's a couple more 'only job class(es)' that take their own tools to work (and would generally prefer NOT to use someone else's): carpenters, finish-painters, musicians, auto (actually, all types of)mechanics, artists, watch-makers, chefs (need I go on?)....not to take umbrage at your point about BYOD in the office, but your opening, "Why should I bring my OWN tools? I'm not an *auto mechanic*!" sounded a little ill-thought-out, if not elitist. The better the quality of work you do, the more likely that you prefer the facility and familiarity of your own tools. That's why you bought them....

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

Working in end-user support, I get to hear it from the employees' side, and BYOD is what the users have been wishing for. (Be careful of what you wish for.) I hear it all the time: "Why can't the company spend a few dollars on better computers?" "I could get more done if I could work from home." "I would take some time off, if I wasn't such a prisoner to the office." "Sunday afternoon and the boss wants ME to come in to make last-minute proposal changes." And every laptop we send out with traveling users, immediately gets wiped upon return -- they come back loaded up with malware, and some user's browsing habits are beyond filthy. (Makes me wonder what kind of people I'm working with.) Well, now that the big boss, wanting his new iPad to work on the compnay network, has cleared the path, users should expect some restrictions, even if it is a device they paid for. After all, I use my own car to get to work, but the company is not responsible for the oil changes, brakes, and tires. And if I'm so cheap to buy a crappy car that breaks down, the boss still expects me to get to work, even if I have to walk. (On second thought, maybe the company's old, slow shuttle service wasn't so bad. At least *I* didn't have to pay for it.)

arlkay
arlkay

I am just an ignorant ex IT guy! But someone please tell me how supporting many different devices, which may have to use somewhat incompatable programs (even different versions of the same OS). Specific programs for internal use must be written and compiled and maintained for the various platforms. Of course this will all save the business money and time (Joke!!).

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

While I still don't regard BYOD as a good overall policy, I was never aware it was a goal of the IT department to be 'feared'.

Worth2Cents
Worth2Cents

BYOD requires a new support model. It's not IT's job to support the users' many devices. It is now IT's job to provide secure access to the users' data. The Internet, particularly the Web, is universal across all devices, all platforms, and all vendors. A PDF webpage brought up on a MAC is the same that's brought up on a PC. IT just needs to make the PDF available. I mean, apps are moving to web-based anyway. Servers are becoming virtual, anyway. Secure remote network access and business-to-business connectivity are already in use, anyway. IT put all that infrastructure in-place to support our traveling/mobile users and their company-provided laptops. Now, the users want to use their own laptop instead of one bought by the company. OK. So long as company data isn't stolen along with that checked laptop bag at the airport...Oh, that's what was happening before, when they did load that company laptop up with company data, and was then irresponsible with the hardware. Let's see how careless users are with their own $700 iPad. I wonder how pizza delivery companies do it? Would consumers be willing to pay more for pizza if drivers had fleet vehicles, like FedEx? Or would FedEx charge less if their drivers drove their own cars?

mongocrush
mongocrush

I would first make sure the company had a policy that IT isn't responsable for employees computers or personal electronic stuff they bring in. This would reduce IT's load considerably. I would then put all my users into a DMZ where their bandwidth would be limited but other than that they can do whatever they want and I'm not going to monitor them (this would all be in policy ahead of time). Then I would have all employees connect via UAG and Terminal Server to access any tools they would need to really get their job done.

Pete6677
Pete6677

That is the way it should be done. Talk about striking a reasonable balance all around.