As the bring your own device (BYOD) movement continues to gain traction, IT departments worldwide are having to adjust to keep up with the increasing use of personal smartphones and tablets for business communications.
The 2013 Mobile Enterprise Report, recently released by iPass and MobileIron, found that 53.8 percent of businesses surveyed have adopted a BYOD policy, and that IT policies are becoming increasingly more flexible. The majority of respondents said their corporate guidelines had become more accommodating of employees’ personal devices of the past year, likely in reaction to employee demands, according to the report.
In today’s evolving marketplace, many IT decision-makers are turning to the cloud and are capitalizing on personal device use to build a stronger communications platform that can better address everyday business needs.
The popularity of on-the-go, remote working is on the rise like never before, and employees demand the tools to share and receive information instantly. CIOs must be proactive in taking advantage of BYOD and the consumer IT movement by providing employees with the tools to utilize their existing, self-purchased devices in the workplace.
Organizations that are hesitant to make technological changes to the network are quickly learning that in the present business environment, failure to reevaluate communications structures may leave them unable to position themselves as frontrunners among competitors.
Increasing Support for Mobile Devices
Web-enabled smartphones and tablets are rapidly changing the landscape for instant connectivity and on-the-go communications, and the market for the devices will continue to expand in the upcoming year.
According to the 2013 Mobile Enterprise Report, increasingly flexible policies are changing the device mix within enterprises. In 2011, RIM’s BlackBerry was the top enterprise smartphone with support at 77 percent of companies. Apple’s iPhone came in second with a presence at 52 percent of enterprises, and Andriod, third, with 44 percent support.
The study found that the brands have switched places over the past two years, and that IT departments are supporting a wider array of devices. Currently, 74 percent of businesses support iPhone, 62 percent support BlackBerry and 61 percent support Andriod.
The report also found that in 2012, IT managers increased tablet support for a number of non-executive departments including sales, marketing, engineering, finance/accounting, HR/administration and legal.
Accelerating BYOD: Unified Communications
The sudden surge of new products in the wireless communications industry is driving businesses to a whole new level of efficiency, and people are relying more on advanced communications for a streamlined way to exchange ideas and stay connected. Enterprises need a comprehensive solution that can capitalize on the BYOD trend and the climate of collaboration and business on the go.
By bringing together cloud apps, personal mobile devices and networking tools, unified communications is the perfect solution.
Businesses that have implemented a personal device policy for employees and adopted a unified communications solution give their employees the versatility to communicate in a way that best suits their individual needs. Whether an employee prefers to use a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet, they will be equipped with the same features to get their work done efficiently.
In a global business community in which employees are increasingly mobile, the BYOD trend will continue to take off in businesses of all sizes, from small start-ups to corporate enterprises. Along with the growth in enabling technologies and cloud-based apps, we will see companies worldwide provisioning personal devices for business communications. It is important that IT decision-makers recognize the growing need for a BYOD policy, so their business doesn’t get left behind.
Want to learn more about the BYOD trend and adopting a unified communications solution? Check out our white paper: The Business Case for Unified Communications: A Must Have for 2013.