The term “BYOD” is everywhere. It seemed to come out of the blue, and ever since I haven’t been able to get through a week without it being referenced: in meetings I attend; in conference programs and event panel discussions; on Twitter and LinkedIn discussions; and in almost every technology publication out there. The cynic in me sometimes wonders why we need an acronym to prop up a simple concept that people like to use their own things and not other people’s. But it is important to both IT and AV folks, and the issues that employees create by using their own device in a corporate environment are real.
Besides reading and hearing about it, I also see it practiced in the Mersive office, as many employees connect to our network using their tablets, iPods, smartphones and PC’s. For better or worse, the term BYOD and its underlying implications seems to be here for good. And another thing is clear: IT departments need to quickly figure out a way to deal with this trend that seems to leave many worried about the risks involved in having personal devices accessing a company network.
In a recently conducted survey done by Mersive and Survey Design & Analysis, we found that 44.9 percent of respondents worked for a company that had a definitive BYOD policy.
This also aligns with research done in November 2012 by Ovum and Logicalis in the largest study everconducted into employee BYOD behavior. The study was conducted across 17 markets, and it found that more than half (57.1 percent) of full-time employees engage in BYOD. Perhaps this is why that same study found that in emerging markets (think risk takers), the trend of BYOD activity in the workplace is even more relevant than it is in established markets like the US. In all seriousness, the BRIC countries and their regional counterparts have been a fairly good indicator of emerging technology trends in the past, particularly ones that are happening despite existing adoption frameworks. The prevalence of BYOD activity in the workplace seems to be one of these trends.
It seems that IT departments are struggling with managing the risk associated with BYOD activity in the workplace and controlling the adoption of what seems to be something that is out of their control. They have to come to terms with the reality that employees aren’t going to stop using their personal devices for business and figure out how to make it work.