BYOD adoption rate to top 35% by 2016

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As consumer mobile devices flood the workplace, companies are embracing BYOD practices. Credit: IdeaStepConceptStock

As consumer mobile devices flood the workplace, companies are embracing BYOD practices. Credit: IdeaStepConceptStock

Pair the proliferation of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks with widely available Wi-Fi and what do you get? You get the bring your own device (BYOD) phenomenon that is shaping an always-on, highly mobile workforce that can be dramatically more responsive than those of past generations.

To call it a trend misses the point. Some research even suggests that BYOD will soon evolve from an option to a requirement as organizations look to take full advantage of the benefits — IT cost savings and more flexible work environments among them.

With the rate of consumer device adoption in the workplace on the rise, BYOD is simply becoming the way the enterprise works. A recent Enterprise Strategy Group survey of enterprises and midmarket companies bears this out:

  • 62 percent of enterprises and 40 percent of midmarket companies reported experiencing significant growth in employees’ use of alternative endpoint devices
  • End-user demand for these devices emerged as the leading cause for this shift, with 75 percent of enterprises and 62 percent of midmarket companies citing it as a factor
  • 56 percent of enterprises and 37 percent of midmarket companies report that most end users want to start using smartphones for work, more than any other device

Being smart about BYOD

The latest in mobile technology is providing companies and other organizations secure ways of delivering sensitive data across a range of devices, untethering the workplace and giving end users unparalleled freedom to work from anywhere.

A comprehensive assessment of an organization’s needs and capabilities is a logical first step toward implementing any mobility initiative, Courtney Burry, VMware director of end-user computing, wrote in a recent blog entry.

“And, one size does not fit all,” Burry told readers. “You need to fully understand the converging needs of users, security, compliance and budget constraints to take the right steps.”

To mitigate compromised mobile devices, protect the corporate network and adhere to regulatory standards, companies must have sound mobility policies based on best practices and strong partnerships with vendors that can support their specific needs.

VMware Horizon Suite is one option that can centralize applications and data within IT departments and deliver these resources seamlessly and securely to the preferred devices of end users.

BYOD by the numbers

For more context on BYOD, take a look at the infographic below that explores the mobility movement that is redefining where “the office” is based and how it functions.

BYODinfographic072513

Nick Clunn
Nick Clunn is a journalist covering the tech beat and an adjunct professor at Montclair State University. He lives in New Jersey, where he had worked as a staff writer for several leading daily newspapers and websites.
Nick Clunn
Nick Clunn
Tags: Business,BYOD,Productivity,Technology,Virtualization
  • John

    Actually, while I would love to use my own device for work, I must agree to allow my company to “wipe out” my smartphone remotely for any reason, including any of my personal data. Also, I am subject to having to surrender my personal smartphone to my company’s legal department in the event a request for production from somebody suing my company requires it.

    To my company’s credit, they give us the “BYOD” OPTION, but will continue to still pay for a separate remote device due to the legal implications.

    No thanks…it may be inconvenient to have to carry around two devices, but the alternative is just not worth it.

    • ka5s

      Can they handle FOUO and DoD encryption?

  • Matt C

    I certainly see a need for tight integration between the PC and the mobile device. Mobile is excellent for keeping people in touch when they’re away from the office. But in an 8 hour work day you just can’t match the productivity of a workstation. Mileage will vary between companies and between departments, but cost-cutting is not a reason. It’s all about productivity.

  • Maurice

    Many people at work use their own devices, but I will not open myself to work problems 24×7 until they mandate it.

  • http://www. Phyllis Edson

    It won’t be long until this also filters down to schools as schools try to figure out how to get more technology into the classrooms on limited budgets. It makes sense that we incorporate changes going on in the workplace into our schools but there are numerous challenges along the way.

  • Aaron

    What you’ll really get is a work force that is always at work and not properly compensated for it…

    • JayM12345

      Yep, that’s libertarianism for you. Did you know the Paypal guy is building his own island where they’ll be no minimum wage? Good, he can clean his own toilets and bag his own groceries for free. How do you like libertarianism now?

      • Don

        lol what..that isnt libertarianism…at all.

      • Herbert Napp

        Hi shill.

      • Herbert Napp

        What’s up, man? How is your OFA desk treating you, govshill?

    • mylilelar

      Muuahhhhh…..like a real estate agent.
      Most ALL of our work derives from home,in the field and ends up at home.
      “Floor time” is such a misnomer for an excuse to sit in a required office for at least 4 hours a day and transfer calls.

    • Cliff Eden Gardner

      While bossman chillaxes for 3 times the pay.

    • NorahW

      And then required to purchase expensive devices that they’re not paid enough to afford.

    • discouragedinMI

      Sounds very familiar … oh, my job. I believe Dilbert would have something very witty to say about this topic.

    • thesparky1

      Agreed. My previous employer tried to say we had to program our corporate email into our phones without offering to pay for the additional data burden. I flat refused and told them to fire me, wanting to get unemployment for 18 months. They cut me a check, just to me, for $500 and said, get it done. My associated were livid as they caved. I got the check and they got bupkis. My boss called me in and said, “Look, you are not worth the trouble you have caused me, find another job.” I took his advice and marketed myself to the main competitor. It worked, a man had died and another had taken a short term medical leave. I came along with a CV at the exact same time and got an interview. As I was driving out the exit to their corporate office, a good friend called and said, “Dude, I just talked with this lady at $&&%&$. She asked me a lot of questions about you.” I’m on the road another 10 minutes and another buddy calls telling me a lady is checking out my personal references. I get home and I get a text message from another reference about the lady calling. The next day, she calls me in to talk to the vice president and before I leave, he says to look at my schedule and come up with a good day to leave my current employer. I do the nice thing and pick two weeks away plus the weekend. I get to work the next day and turn in my two week notice. The mistake I made was telling them where I was going. NEVER DO THAT, EVER. I barely got my contact list transferred to my online personal email when my computer station rebooted. Then it would not accept my log in. Then my phone rings and its my current VP of operations. He says, “Ok, here’s the drill, you are going to a competitor, you can finish this shift and then leave and not come back. You get all your pay, plus a month of pay, plus all your un-used leave.” I then hop on my cellphone and tell the new employer what they did and the new boss says, “We can survive another week here, you deserve to enjoy some time off, so go for it and I will see you a week Monday.” I went in and it has been fantastic ever since.

      • CrazySwedishGuy

        Cool story bro.

  • jay george

    I’ve been basing my security pitches on this for years. Now your device will be part of your identity. What do you know (credentials), where are you at (home or office), and what do you have (token or device). But even tho my company has this as one of their products, I still won’t surrender my personal device, because of what John said here: my personal property could become community property in the event of a security breach or other nastiness.

  • King

    Absolute wishful thinking. A bout of corporate frugalness does not make a trend when it runs into reality. Many employees would simply refuse to have a mobile device in this case. I have experienced any situation that expects you to provide personal contact information for being always connected. In this case, IT is trying to sell-in cost savings that not only damages employees wallets, but the long term connectivity of the company.

  • ka5s

    Great. My TRS-80 Model 100 is ready!

    • CallousOneToo

      I’m still using two juice cans and some string.

    • Bill

      I loved my TRS-80 back in the day!

  • MarcNJ

    Increased use of wireless devices decreases security.

  • Sarah Davidson

    My company currently implemented BYOD – not for working from home (which they still don’t support) but for working after we get home. I don’t work for a new start-up, where every dollar counts, but for a Fortune 100 company. So – I use my own laptop and my own smartphone to keep this organization from spending equipment dollars; I’m already buying all my own office supplies. The next thing that will happen (because these lovely corporate criminals have already cut off most of our “benefits”) is that we’ll have to start paying some type of fee to work there…

  • Sinixstar

    Yea -not so much.
    The problem with this is a lot of the work people do requires software, not just hardware. that software comes with licensing costs. Are you telling me that your idea of “lower IT costs” is that companies are going to start purchasing software that is installed on employee’s PERSONAL devices? Yea, not so much. Nevermind the security implications of having intellectual property and sometimes even confidential customer and user information on those same personal devices. Devices with which the company has no control over who/what/where/when/how they’re used outside of the office – since they don’t belong to said company.

    Now – i’ll grant you that in some cases – employees bringing devices to the office, that happen to get used for work – does happen. It also happens that more and more people are finding the freelance/consulting life attractive. In those cases however, the employee is taking on incredible legal responsibility to care for intellectual property and confidential data, and more often than not -incurring the cost of relevant licenses out-of-pocket.

    In short – this just isn’t going to be as wide spread as some people would like it to be.

  • J. Chris Bourdier

    I know I’m trying to hold back the incoming tide with my bare hands on this, but BYOD is such an incredibly bad idea that I just don’t know where to start.

    Legal is always fun, so let’s start there. Anything that touches the corporate network is, in some small way at least, a responsibility of the company. Ran a discovery report while James had his personal laptop connected and showed 40 GB of mp3s on the network? Guess who’s responsible for showing proof of purchase: The corporation, that’s who. Amy has corporate data on her smartphone, along with FourSquare, Facebook, and a half dozen other apps that share location info and other data. Who’s responsible for that vulnerability? The corporation. Can’t show proof of purchase for the dozen copies of GTAV that showed up from personal laptops connected to the network. Guess who’s held responsible for the Sarbanes-Oxley violation: The CEO, CIO, and anyone else legally responsible for the corporation. What happens if corporate use “breaks” someone’s tablet, and he wants to hold the company responsible? (I was just thinking of corrupted data, but this could also include physical damage.) … And that’s just the easy stuff.

    How about data security? If I’m using a personal device for work, I’ve got company-confidential data on a device that is NOT under corporate control. What happens to that data should I become a disgruntled employee? Does the name Edward Snowden ring a bell? Granted, that’s a worst-case scenario, but there are a lot of much more mundane ways an unhappy employee could use that data, especially after he’s copied it off of the secure network onto his own device. (Remember that most worst-case scenarios are wild what-if’s, but that one really happened.)

    IT Support. Your support staff will need to know, not just Windows, but Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, and every other OS on a personal device used for company work. And know how corporate applications interact with the apps and programs installed on those devices. How many of you feel that your existing IT Support department is functionally worthless, and all they currently support is Wintel? Can your IT staff be trusted to set up a private device for company work without breaking the personal apps already on it? How about clearing corporate data without destroying anything else?

    Privacy? My phone and tablet are not only my connections to the world at large. They’re also extensions of my personality. Any corporate IT (that has any brains) is going to demand that I make my devices available to corporate scrutiny before and during any time that I use them for work. There are people who don’t allow family members to access their devices, and they’re supposed to hand them over to strangers? The typical IT Support Desk worker is not vetted or bonded in any way. While there may be policies in place to prevent snooping or tampering, what legal recourse does the device owner have, if any? In addition to critical company data, I might also have critical personal data on that phone. How do I know the IT rep won’t wipe that data along with the corporate stuff — or worse: copy it? I worked in IT Support for 14 years before transferring to IT Asset Management. I know full well how computer-savvy workers regard those who aren’t, and I also know that most IT policies are written by IT executives who themselves are NOT computer-savvy; which gives an idea how IT reps will regard those policies.

    And all those examples are extremely general. No, BYOD is a very bad idea. But it sounds good to the guys up top. “Saves money,” they’ll say. And opens the company up to legal problems. Don’t do it.

    • Al Mahany

      Well said. The company saves $100 on a device and exposes themselves to $1 million or more in problems. Where are the savings?

      • dylanpete

        Your statement “IT Support. Your support staff will need to know, not just Windows, but Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, and every other OS on a personal device used for company work. And know how corporate applications interact with the apps and programs installed on those devices. How many of you feel that your existing IT Support department is functionally worthless, and all they currently support is Wintel? ”

        In my perception there is a solution to this and it’s called “Glassware 2.0″ developed by a company Sphere3D.
        Wouldn’t you think this solution could overcome a lot of your concerns?

    • dylanpete

      “IT Support. Your support staff will need to know, not just Windows, but Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, and every other OS on a personal device used for company work. And know how corporate applications interact with the apps and programs installed on those devices. How many of you feel that your existing IT Support department is functionally worthless, and all they currently support is Wintel? ”

      Chris, how do you think about Glassware 2.0 to overcome a lot of this troubles? Have a look at
      http://www.sphere3d.com/

    • David

      Extremely well said. The third sentance from the end says it all. That is the primary reason, IMO, that companies are doing this The Company I work for does not allow BYOD. The end user devices are all supplied by the company. They are auditted on a regular basis. Any software added must be cleared through a Change Management process. There are some consequences for violating that process.

  • Marcus

    Ya no… I’m not going to consent to my company being able to monitor my personal phone because they want me to use it for work and you’d have to consent to that so that that the organization can make sure there are no violations to the federal Computer Fraud and abuse Act. Also if the company gets sued and its suspected that your phone has data on it relevant to the case it can be taken as evidence, along with all your personal data. Bad idea all around.

  • terry weaver

    How about articulating on those IT cost savings? From what I’ve read those cost savings are imagined, not realized. Instead of just repeating that line, how about writers start substantiating their claims with facts.

  • StopJobflowoverseasnow

    The corporate security police are going to go crazy. Imagine having confidential material on a phone or other e device that the OS image isn’t controlled by the security police. And there is no way that the corporations can ban doing personal work on the personal device. How are the corporation going to track the confidential information. It can easily be sent out on a personal internet service provider which the corporation can’t track without getting a subpoena. Just want to stir up the security police and drive them crazy

  • Justin Scott

    There are arguments for and against any cultural change, but as the graphics above show, this is going to happen – and already is in many large companies. Continuing to whine about why it shouldn’t happen is a waste of breath. Instead, do something productive like create a new security package that better protects the company or user. This is how we evolve technologically. Be an innovator, not a complainer.

  • Mark

    You’re confusing libertarianism with liberalism. Two different words with two completely different meanings.

  • EdChombeau

    Us retired folks just travel, stay at home, and use Facebook to keep in contact. I don’t need to be connected except at my home or travel destination. My “dumb” phone is all I need on the highway; “Have Bluetooth, will Travel”. When y’all retire, something to consider–a bit o quite private time away from the those out of sight and out of mind—solitude is necessary for our souls.

  • Tobin Lathrop

    NO JUST NO. Well not in my case, security would have an aneurysm. My work laptop is locked down pretty well all the apps I use are white listed, I have a second account to do my server admin work. I work on SOX, HIPAA, Defence, and have to go through regular audits for access HR servers that store PII data. Sorry there is no way I would get to use a personal machine of any sort for my job and I can’t see where any company that takes data security seriously would allow BYOD.

    • 54StarryNights

      Not to mention that if they audit your use, they would have access to your private information and exchanges if you were using your personal device. This idea is wrong in so many ways.

  • crystlfire62

    I’m still using my little flip phone that you flip open to use with its little typewriter on the bottom. It serves me well for emergencies like flat tires. Other than that I never answer it…LOL! I’m one of those people that hate talking on the phone. If I’m on the phone 10 minutes than its time to go. I have more important things to waste my time on! Texting? Yeah right, my 23 year old daughter has tried to teach me to texted for years now. It’s to time consuming. Much easier to call and say what you need to say than hang up. She has given up on me! Just be glad most people aren’t like me. Apple and Samsung would be out of business!

  • crystlfire62

    If they had to depend on me, Samsung and Apple would be out of business. I hate talking on the phone and have the slowest and oldest cell phone on the market just for emergencies. Texting just gets me confused and takes to long. Much easier to call, say what you need to say, than hang up!

  • discouragedinMI

    You forgot the major reason business do this. They don’t have to pay for it.

  • Smeagel4T

    Security leaks the size of elephants. One HUGE security leak already exists. There have been problems with apps stealing users contacts. That seems like an “annoyance” when talking about private users. Now match that with a device having access to an enterprise-wide contacts list, and somebody downloads the latest meaningless game to the device which then proceeds to upload all that information to the “game” company’s server. That can already happen TODAY.

  • Paul White

    So, when I use up all my data and go over cap and incur 50 bucks+ in overage fees, do they pay or do I pay?
    As an individual, I’d say hell no to this if I had any power at all in the discussion at my employer (who currently is NOT considering this AFAIK).

  • 54StarryNights

    If companies want their employees to use mobile devices, they need to provide them and pay service fees. Also, the hours during which the employee needs to respond to work related contacts need to be limited and compensated. Employees should be paid overtime for responses made beyond a designated 8-hour work day, and there absolutely must be hours during which employees are not required to respond.

  • 54StarryNights

    It is just one more reason why workplaces should be unionized if the employees want to. If a business is going to require you to use something, they should provide it and pay any fees associated with it. Also, I am sure companies will abuse this and infringe heavily on their employees’ private time without compensating for the intrusion. To get a job, a potential employee will have to purchase a device compatible with his employer’s needs, will probably be stuck with pay some or all the associated service feeds, app updates, etc., and will probably end up working longer hours without additional compensation and his private time will be interrupted by work contacts. This idea could prove very abusive.

  • RasterMaster

    This article is an ad for Apple and Samsung. What is the productivity benefit of BYOD? How is people surfing Facebook beneficial to the workplace?

  • RasterMaster

    Why wait for retirement?

  • Akirem

    You’re focusing on the least of the issues he mentioned. I’ve worked in IT as well and I know what his fears are and how real they are. What your IT Support Department actually supports is a drop in the bucket compared to the damage that one accident can cause. Personal device, company data and now that tablet you lost at the airport because no one was watching the bags is now a data security nightmare no matter what platform you’re on.

  • big john ok

    I dont even give my cell number to coworkers much less my employer all they get is my house phone. If my employer thinks I need a cell/smart phone to do my job then they will provide it and pay the bill.

    • YPetrinov

      My employer has nothing more than my Google Voice number. When I am on call, for one week a month, I have THEIR Phone. Any other time, there is no getting a hold of me until I get back to work.

  • big john ok

    I have seen this happen in my old workplace, the company pulled all the work phones issued to people. I dont even share my cell number with my employer or even coworkers for the most part. If my employer thinks I need a smart phone/cell phone to do my job then it is their responsibility to provide it and pay the bill, not mine.

  • Just Us Bikers

    I am IT and I say B S! Never will happen in my company.

    There are never enough resources to support every device ever made. Once a company puts their hands on the personal device we would end up owning it. Anything that goes wrong we would be blamed for it. It won’t save a company money by having people use their own devices. Despite what they say, managing personal devices with employees coming and going would be a nightmare.

    This is the biggest bunch of bull put out by Gartner G r o u p has put out!

    It takes a punch at company standards and security!

    • YPetrinov

      25 years in I.T. Administration, and I agree with you wholeheartedly. I will also not be responsible for the problems people induce on their own devices, and then line up at my technician’s desk at 9:00 in the morning, needing fixed before they leave that day. By the time I get done locking their machines down, they won’t be able to install a program for personal use, and their children will not be using it at home.

  • NM2000

    No way. Our company is too super anal about IT and control over user systems and myself and my coworkers may check Outlook over the web from home, but we’re not filling up personal hard drives with work files, much less allowing work to treat our machines like they do the ones at work (such as spying on what is on the device and/or laying IP claims to anything generated on their devices).

  • doh

    Totally agree. Check out California Labor Code, Section 2802. The cost the execs think they’re saving actually turns into reimbursement charges they are required to pay the employee for use of their personal equipment. If a company tells you you must buy your own laptop to use for the company’s benefit, report them, take them to court.

  • doh

    This article isn’t worth the network bandwidth it’s using. Some techno wanna-bee fanboy has the misconception that byod is the up and coming hotness, and not owning the intelligence to realize why it would never fly.

  • jim

    “unparalleled freedom to work from anywhere” should read “unparalleled freedom to work all the time”

  • jer

    Think of this from another point of view. Who benefits most from BYOD? The companies that sell the tablets and phones. Where i work we have a deal with verizon that is half what i pay for my personal cell and it gets unlimited everything. The tablet i use is surface pro. That was heavily discounted because of the larger purchase for our department and management. If we all bought them separate they would have made 20-30% more money. This seems more of a tech push for profit then cost cutting from business. Then again i work for local government so that might factor in also.