The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movement - whereby personal employee-owned devices are being brought to the office and used for business purposes - is in full swing, with a majority of companies using or planning to use BYOD. BYOD offers an array of potential benefits for businesses and workers alike: lowered equipment/service plan costs and reduced device support for businesses and equipment choice, work-life flexibility and familiar interfaces for users. The BYOD movement represents a shift towards consumerization in the workplace and the blend of business/personal technology via a "whatever works best to get the job done" mindset.
Take Tech Pro Research's survey on BYOD Trends and opt for a free copy of the resulting research report.
New concepts like wearable devices (gadgets that can perform functions like fitness monitoring or a more convenient interface with a smart phone) and the "internet of things" (internet-connected objects such as appliances, thermostats, vehicles and even living beings such as livestock) have the potential to influence and change the BYOD trend by diversifying it and making it more complex.
We've performed some studies in the past on the subjects of BYOD and wearables. Tech Pro Research looked at BYOD business strategies in February 2013 and the resulting research report showed that security concerns ranked the most common reason not to adopt BYOD. Furthermore, among companies using BYOD, the goal of lower IT costs hadn't been significantly realized, and the report stated "it is the process of revisiting traditional IT solutions, extending the architecture to include unique capabilities and challenges of mobile devices, and a rewrite of acceptable use policies that provide significant positive changes to the bottom line." The fact that most organizations allowing BYOD had less than 50% employee participation at the time may also play into this issue.
Tech Pro Research conducted a wearables survey in April 2014 and the resulting research report indicated that while most people have some level of knowledge of wearables, only 11% of respondent organizations were using, planning to use or budgeting for wearables. "No business need" was cited by many although healthcare and business service/consulting industries are the areas where they are most likely in use. Among those who were using wearables, 58% said that IT had very little or no involvement in the deployment process. IT budget allocated to wearables is still extremely limited, but nevertheless the large majority of our survey respondents reported that their organization's wearables budget for this year had either remained constant or increased, showing it may be a concept which can gather momentum. Lastly, despite the rather small number of respondents currently using wearables, those who are using them reported clear gains from their deployment. Improved communication, better organizational capabilities, and enhanced productivity were most often cited as the value brought to respondents' organizations by wearables.
Because a lot can happen in just a few short months in the world of technology, we'd like to revisit the topic of BYOD to examine how wearables and the internet of things may be affecting it and producing new elements worthy of analysis. We're also interested in discovering whether the statistics or results have changed, and if so how.
Please take our new BYOD trends survey to share your thoughts on the matter. Participants will have the option of requesting a free copy of the research report when it publishes in January 2015.
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Scott Matteson is a senior systems administrator and freelance technical writer who also performs consulting work for small organizations. He resides in the Greater Boston area with his wife and three children.