Embracing BYOD is key to staying with the pack

Embracing BYOD is key to staying with the pack

Embracing the bring your own device (BYOD) trend could be crucial for businesses that do not want to be left behind their competitors, according to a new survey conducted into the working practice by Dell.

The global survey was undertaken to gauge the level of organisational maturity around the trend, and concluded that approximately 70 per cent of companies believe it can actually improve their work processes and help them to work better in the future.

An estimated 59 per cent believe that failing to get involved in the technology and allowing their workers to make use of mobile devices would put them at a disadvantage when put up against their competitors. When it comes to implementing the trend, it is important for businesses to understand the needs of each individual user.

The survey of nearly 1,500 IT decision makers across the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia, Singapore, India, and the Beijing region indicated that BYOD can only deliver massive benefits if the specific needs and rights of each user are understood.

On average, the respondents to the survey indicated four personal gains for employees that are allowed to use mobile devices on a day-to-day business, including flexible hours, increased creativity, speed innovation and the facilitation of teamwork and collaboration.

Roger Bjork, director, Enterprise Mobility Solutions, Dell Software Group , said: "We're seeing dramatic changes in the way users interact with technology on their personal devices and the critical role BYOD plays in transforming business and IT culture."

He noted that the survey confirms long-held ideas that companies embracing the trend will receive the most benefits, in terms of productivity and cost savings, as well as facing the fewest obstacles.  "Those slow to support BYOD or constrained by a device-centric approach may deal with greater challenges, including the risk of being left behind from a competitive standpoint," he explained.

The Dell survey found that BYOD is not just a UK phenomenon, as companies around the world were found to be taking on the trend in ever-increasing numbers. The US, Beijing region of China and Australia represented the top three countries that encourage BYOD. Respondents from these regions said they have boosted BYOD by actively managing and supporting any device that users want to bring into the corporate environment.

France, Germany and the UK were in the bottom three in terms of providing this level of support for workers looking to increase their productivity through the use of their own devices. One way businesses in the UK could increase their support is through the addition of mobile device management (MDM) to their operations.

These software tools, which can be provided by Arrow Communications, allow a business to monitor all of the devices being used by employees from one location. The benefit is the ability to remotely wipe any sensitive data should the device be lost or stolen, or should the employee leave the company.

The two technology areas most commonly implemented first for BYOD are desktop virtualisation and MDM. France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Australia implemented desktop virtualisation first, while Singapore, India, Beijing, the UK and US started with MDM.

Carol Fawcett, chief information officer, Dell Software Group, backed up the findings of the survey and the benefits of BYOD, saying: "In my previous role as CIO of Quest Software, our IT empowered nearly 4,000 employees across 60 offices in 23 countries to use their preferred mobile devices whether they were phones, tablets, or non-standard laptops to do their jobs.

"Instead of worrying about their devices, we focused on enabling access to the apps and data needed by the appropriate individuals regardless of device. We found this approach allowed us to be much more strategic and enabled us to focus on our biggest BYOD problems; security, access rights and data leakage."