State of BYOD in the Enterprise

DevToolsGuy / Monday, May 06, 2013

BYOD, or “bring your own device,” is the ability to bring your own personal hardware to work and use it instead of a corporate or company provided alternative. Typically referring to mobile and smartphones, though increasingly tablets are being included, no one is really sure where the phrase came from. It seemed to surface around 2009 (according to sources here) and gradually grew in popularity. But just how widespread is BYOD?

According to a new Gartner report, BYOD is very widespread indeed, and it is going to get a lot more popular. They predict by 2017, half of all employers will require employees to supply their own device for work purposes. This is quite a statement, and arguably turns “bring your own device” into “you have to bring your own device” (YHTBYOD isn’t quite as snappy, but we digress).

Dave Willis, Gartner Analyst, see things in a positive light:

"BYOD strategies are 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.

We're finally reaching the point where IT officially recognizes what has always been going on: People use their business device for nonwork purposes. They often use a personal device in business."

If BYOD does gain a bigger foothold in the workplace (and a quick straw poll we conducted suggested it is as popular as Gartner would have us believe), what impact does this have on the software that goes on these devices?

Phone and tablet operating systems probably have the biggest hurdles to overcome. They now need to cater to users that store both work and personal data on their devices - a previously “personal” device now needs to consider a whole host of “enterprise” features. Apple has been playing catch up in this area for a while, with its iPhones only gaining features IT departments rely on in the last few years. Windows has good support, with Microsoft being a big enterprise player anyway, and Android has a lot going for it as well. Blackberry, long a staple in the enterprise market, has tried to lead the way a little but more with new ideas. Blackberry’s latest phone offerings tout features like being able to “split” themselves between work and home mode.

Infragistics mobile business applications such as SharePlus and ReportPlus are perfect compliments to the BYOD paradigm.

ReportPlus is a dashboard and reporting tool for the iPad that enables you to connect to any data source directly and securely. With ReportPlus’ intuitive UI, you can tap and drag your way to build visualizations of your key business metrics – no assistance from IT necessary or any server side software required. This tool makes remote access to data readily available directly on the iPad, giving you the power to glean the insight from your data and make informed decisions at any time.

SharePlus is a mobile business application that allows folks to connect to SharePoint from popular mobile devices and fully manage their documents.  With SharePlus, you may use your iPad, Android, or BlackBerry Play device to access and edit SharePoint documents online and even while you are disconnected from the internet.

It is clear that BYOD is here to stay, and it might not be long before we look back and think it strange that employers ever gave us phones to do our work with. There are of course still many hurdles to look at (e.g. should an employer subsidize our phone costs?) but seems we are seeing the start of an irreversible trend in technology in the workplace, and the Infragistics tools of SharePlus and ReportPlus are key players in assisting with the smooth transition of our devices in the workplace.