Posted by:Srini Bhopal February 6th, 2013

Since the last two years, two topics have featured in technology conversations time and again – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and IT Consumerization. We are now at a stage where majority of enterprises have accepted the inevitability of BYOD and begun to adopt it. At the same time, early adopters of BYOD are opening up on the significant returns BYOD has brought to their office culture, employee morale and bottom line.

While the field data for the survey I am about to discuss here was collected in late 2011, I will share the observations with you as the trends are significant. If this is how it was in 2011, you can imagine the progress in IT consumerization today. I refer to the Avanade report Dispelling Six Myths of Consumerization – that is based on a survey of 600 senior executives and IT leaders from 17 countries.

Impact of IT consumerization and BYOD

The report covers many facets but one I found most interesting was that senior executives and CXOs did not see BYOD as a tool to attract or incentivize young workers. The greatest incentive, according to 58% of executives, was the work flexibility it created – anytime, anyplace access to needed information. Another incentive was the increased productivity with workers willingly working after-hours.

Therefore, the biggest impact of IT consumerization is the change in work style and culture. Financial organizations, known to be the most resistant to BYOD, are also allowing personal devices in the workplace now, albeit with policies on approved apps, restricted access, and approved devices in place. Here too, the clear winners for workers included flexible working, higher morale, and improved collaboration.

The Avanade report also reveals the following observations for enterprises that embraced BYOD:

  • 88% top executives state employees use personal mobile devices for business with or without permission.
  • 73% state IT consumerization is a top priority.
  • 25% of IT budget is being allocated to IT consumerization.
  • 60% of respondents are looking at infrastructural changes to enable IT consumerization.
  • Employees are using personal devices to access email (85%), social networking (46%), CRM apps (45%), Time & Expense Tracking apps (44%), and ERP apps(38%).
Apple no longer the leader

While the BYOD trend may have been triggered by the iPhone, Android handsets are the more popular smartphones employees bring to the workplace. BlackBerry devices also hold a small share. In tablets, iPad is the hot favorite. Tablets are also seen as more viable options for business tasks by executives. Other popular personal devices include Macs.

BYOD and security – a vulnerable gap

Though 55% of the survey respondents admitted to experiencing security breaches due to BYOD, only 38% invest in employee trainings and just 35% in IT staff trainings.

Avanade’s report reveals that companies that invest in security trainings are more likely to realize greater collaboration, have employees who proactively solve problems and work after-hours, and experience improved morale than those that don’t.

Clearly, enterprises that are managing BYOD with the right policies and technology are enjoying tangible and intangible benefits of the trend while those resisting BYOD are missing out.

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