Is BYOD here to stay? Maybe it's just a phase you're going through

BYOD may not be a certainty for enterprise, as figures reveal the proportion of companies supporting the trend is tailing off.

For several years there have been predictions the bulk of employees would choose to use personal phones, tablets and laptops at work.

But the bring your own device (BYOD) ethos appears to be being rejected by a significant proportion of companies, which are instead offering staff a shortlist of mobile devices to choose from - dubbed choose your own device (CYOD) by analyst firm IDC.

Evidence of the BYOD slow down was identified by IDC, which found the proportion of European CIOs planning to implement BYOD policies has remained almost static in the past two years.

"BYOD may be reaching a plateau in Europe," said John Delaney, IDC associate VP of European mobility, at the Microsoft Business Transformed event in London yesterday.

"What I find really interesting about this study is that when I compare it with the same question about one year ago the percentage of enterprises that do not plan to have BYOD is about the same."

This finding seemed to be peculiar to Europe said Delaney, with a larger proportion of US firms planning to implement BYOD policies.

"What we're not seeing is a significant amount of new companies intending to adopt BYOD, we think this is the first data confirmation of what we have heard anecdotally, which is European employees don't like BYOD as much as American employees.

"There is a cultural expectation here that your employer provides the tools you need to do your job, you don't expect to have to provide them yourself."

Company plans to implement BYOD policies according to IDC survey of European CIOs
The shift away from BYOD is being driven by employee resistance to giving up control of their device to employers, alongside companies starting to issue staff with popular consumer phones and tablets, he said.

There is already anecdotal evidence of BYOD working out as a bad deal for employers and individuals, particularly where companies choose to give staff money to buy their own devices to use at home and at work.

Speaking last year, the BBC's head of IT and strategy Paul Boyns said providing staff with £500 to buy a device to use at work would cost an organisation £700, while the individual would only get £300-worth of benefit.

Costs would be incurred in several areas: fresh tax liabilities, higher tariffs on consumer data and voice plans and subscription payments for third party mobile device management (MDM) software, he said.

One organisation that moved away from BYOD after considering letting officers use personal devices is Cambridgeshire Police. The force, which is looking to replace its BlackBerry handsets, instead found it would be most cost-effective to focus its efforts on developing applications for a single mobile platform, in this case the Microsoft Windows OS it already runs on its computers.

"From an efficiency standpoint a big driver was to get the most we could from the Microsoft stack we have already," said Ian Bell, head of ICT for Cambridgeshire Police.

In time, Delaney believes a number of companies will turn away from BYOD in favour of CYOD.

For these companies bring your own device policies are a temporary phase while they figure out a comprehensive strategy for providing and managing mobile devices that staff want to use, and supplying apps to be used on them.

"In principle, this is a gravitation of the selection and procurement of devices away from the employee and back towards the corporate IT department, which has some big implications for future platforms and adoption.

"This is the cusp of transition from an early phase, which is consumer-driven and in which the objective has been to manage the risks of mobility, towards a second phase where increasingly mobile is not seen as an auxiliary.

"In this phase mobile devices and networks are treated as the primary access mode for enterprise, as it's no longer about managing the risk it's about exploiting the benefit," he said, adding that to successfully reach this point companies would need to choose a standardised mobile platform integrated with online services and in-house systems, reliable access to a fast mobile network, such as 4G, and to align these mobile tools with business goals.


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.


Of course BYOD is nonsense and always was.

When all hidden agendas are put aside, using a well chosen and optimized for business use platform supplied by the employing company, maybe allowing a well defined private use of the device that doesn't cause additional cost for the employer but makes it more convenient to carry for the employee, could be the best solution for all.

Well, maybe not for the network companies. But for nobody every dream comes true, no matter how nice it was...


My company has a BYOD policy that can be summed up this way... "You can choose to use your own device, but then we own it (with no compensation to you) and when you leave, even if your contract is not up, you agree to turn the phone in to us.  We will install our own software that will monitor everything you do on the device."  Or...

There is also a CYOD policy that allows you to choose either Android (Samsung Galaxy SIII when I was hired on) or an iPhone, but you have to pay extra out of pocket for the iPhone.  They cover the cost of 1GB per month data plan and all calls, texting, etc... We are also issued laptops, and you can CYOD your laptop, but they are all Lenovo devices, and what you can choose is dependent on your role.  For example, an engineer is going to get the top-of-the-line device with an extra monitor.  If I wanted that, I would have to pay extra out of pocket for it.

On the other hand, when the device that I've been issued is out of warranty, it's wiped  and it's mine to keep.  Not sure why I'd want to keep this heavy brick, but it would probably be a decent backup device at home when the time comes.  These Lenovo's may be heavy and bulky, but they are beasts that can take quite a beating.


"The shift away from BYOD is being driven by employee resistance to giving up control of their device to employers..."

We announced a formal BYOD policy several weeks ago.  I can't speak for employees outside the US, but only two of the 1000+ in the US have expressed serious interest.  I suspect the control policy is why.


BYOD always struck me as asinine.  Companies pay millions of dollars in interface and support and get what exactly again in return?



Never heard of a company taking an employee-provided device and keeping it. What company is this? Are you sure that is the policy?  If so, it is illegal.


Do they actually hand over the laptops in a totally wiped state?  I at least reload the original factory OS.

I've never like the idea of giving used hardware to the employee that used it.  It's unfair to those employees who used less capable equipment, not to mention those employees whose jobs never required a computer or phone.  I prefer to raffle them off.  That way everyone gets a shot at them, and we use the proceeds for charitable causes.


Companies didn't originally ask for BYOD; it was the employees' idea.  They didn't want to carry both a personal phone and a work phone. Supposedly the payoff is in reduced hardware and service contract costs, but primarily in employee satisfaction.


I'm not sure if they wipe the OS or not.  I've not been with this company long enough to have my laptop swapped out.  For us, everyone's jobs require a phone and laptop since we don't work at corporate but are leased back out to the client and we reside at the client's site.  They also do the same program with desktops.  So the Admin assistant at corporate with a desktop device will be able to keep that wiped device if she wants when it's replaced.  If you don't want your device, it goes to the recycler.



BYOD was started by companies who were too cheap to provide cell phones for all of their salary employees.  They decided to just pay the monthly bills but pass the costs of purchasing, repairing, maintaining, and upgrading the devices to the employees.  If it is for company use, then it should be a company expense not one of the employee. 

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