The ever increasing demand for access to company data on the go has compelled companies to address the complexity of application deployment, device management, security management and user support. These factors will lead mobile device policy setting to become one of the most important decisions for IT departments.
The enormous increase of smartphones since 2008 has been mainly driven by consumers who used their electronic companion to communicate, play games, manage photos, listen to music etc. Business phones at that time have been mainly feature phones or email machines like BlackBerrys: No touchscreens, no apps, just pure communication devices.
Bring-you-own-device as a new corporate mobile strategy
Giving away company smartphones to employees as incentives had a rather short positive effect for companies. Incentivized employees did not appreciate an additional device since they were used to dozens of apps on their own private devices. Companies had no chance other than allowing their employees to bring in their own device (BYOD). As of today two thirds (67%) of companies pursue this strategy, both small and large companies alike.
Original questions: “Which mobile device policy for smartphones do you use in your company?”; “How will your mobile device policy for smartphones change within the next 3 years?”.
Source: research2guidance global survey Enterprise Mobile Apps: Reality Check, Q4 2011.
The openness to use a “private” computer (in fact smartphones are small computers) within the company environment to access databases, corporate email lists and newsfeeds is astonishing if compared to the openness to use private laptops or PCs for the same purposes.
BYOD as win-win for employees as well as companies
Current mobile device policies reflect the fact that smartphones used in enterprises are largely employee-owned and not company-owned. The speed at which companies have adapted their policies to accommodate employees’ willingness to use their 500+ US$ smartphone for business purposes is impressive, but not surprising. Many companies have encountered a near win-win situation by satisfying employee desires to use their own device for email, calendaring, etc. while saving on mobile device expenditures at the same time.
Consequences of BYOD not fully clear
Our hypothesis is that IT managers did not realize the full consequences of the BYOD strategy for their company. BYOD entails a list of actions companies must pursue in order to manage the risks and business potentials, given the increased mobile experience of their employees.
For more information on the enterprise app market, tools, best practices, app sourcing strategies and much more please have a look at our latest “Enterprise Mobile App Market Status Report” (or the according PPT slide set of the report).
Our assumption is that most companies have only worked partly on those needs, if at all. What do you think? Feel free to share your views.