22 August 2012

Avoiding the pitfalls of BYOD

With security seemingly the chief barrier to businesses adopting a BYOD policy, we examine the potential sales opportunities for the channel

If hype is a reliable barometer of commercial opportunity, then the sales prospects for the channel stemming from the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend would surely be enough to keep every reseller in the UK in double-digit growth for years to come.

The BYOD trend (if, indeed, there is such a thing) is ubiquitous in the IT industry at the moment. So much so that it is already spaw-ning spin-off concepts - BYOS (bring-your-own-services), anyone?

But while the notion may be hard to escape, examples of enterprise rollouts of BYOD policies and all the attendant technology and services still seem a little thin on the ground.

But market watchers’ data seems to back the assertion that the bring-your-own trend is taking off, at least to some extent. According to a recent Gartner survey of mid-market and enterprise employees in Germany, Australia and the UK, 28 per cent of firms are already supporting user-owned devices. In the BRIC countries, this figure rises to 44 per cent.

Gartner research director Chae-Gi Lee claimed that uptake of BYOD, and concerns held about what the integration of user-owned devices will mean, differ between regions.

"Mature countries consider BYOD programmes as bringing with them legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries see only technical issues,” he said. “Mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature MDM [mobile device management] than emerging regions.”

An IDC study of CIOs in the US and Europe found that 45 per cent of IT chiefs provide some form of support for employees’ smartphones, with 42 per cent doing so for tablets. However, a third of CIOs claimed to provide no smartphone support whatsoever, with 44 per cent shunning tablet support.

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