50% of firms will demand worker BYOD by 2017

50% of firms will demand worker BYOD by 2017

Research firm Gartner has predicted that by the year 2017, 50 per cent of businesses will require employees to supply their own mobile devices should they wish to use them in their working life.

Currently, the provision of smartphones and tablets is split between devices bought by companies and those purchased by the workers themselves.

However, Gartner believes that the end of 2016 will see 38 per cent of firms stop buying devices for workers.

The research firm, which conducted a global survey of CIO's, was keen to point out the benefits of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend, with David Willis, vice president and analyst at Gartner describing the trend as "the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades".

"The benefits of BYOD include creating new mobile workforce opportunities, increasing employee satisfaction, and reducing or avoiding costs," he noted.

The ability of BYOD to encourage innovation, both from employees using mobile devices on a day-to-day basis and IT departments, will ensure that it is around for a long time to come.

However, Gartner indicated that firms will need to adjust the way they go about allowing the use of mobile devices in their organisation and perhaps most importantly, who will pay for the smartphones and tablets that have become part of daily working life.

It was found that currently, around half of BYOD programs offer partial reimbursement to employees buying a new device and the research indicates full reimbursement for all costs will become rare.

"The enterprise should subsidise only the service plan on a smartphone. What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs," Mr Willis explained.

Gartner also found that firms in the US have embraced the trend more than others, with companies in the nation twice as likely to allow it as those in Europe.