The rise of bring your own device (BYOD) programs is the single most radical shift in the economics of client computing for business since PCs invaded the workplace, according to Gartner, Inc. Every business needs a clearly articulated position on BYOD, even if it chooses not to allow for it.
BYOD is an alternative strategy that allows employees, business partners and other users to use personally selected and purchased client devices to execute enterprise applications and access data. For most organizations, the program is currently limited to smartphones and tablets, but the strategy may also be used for PCs and may include subsidies for equipment or service fees.
"With the wide range of capabilities brought by mobile devices, and the myriad ways in which business processes are being reinvented as a result, we are entering a time of tremendous change," said David Willis, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. "The market for mobile devices is booming and the basic device used in business compared to those used by consumers is converging. Simultaneously, advances in network performance allow the personal device to be married to powerful software that resides in the cloud."
Mobile innovation is now driven more by consumer markets than business markets. Affordability is not only putting very powerful technology in the hands of consumers, but those consumers are also upgrading at a much faster rate. An organization may better keep up with mobile technology advancements by aligning to the consumer, rather than the much slower pace of business technology adoption, with its long cycle of detailed requirements analysis, established refresh rates, and centralized procurement heritage. Consumers also enjoy equipment and domestic service pricing that often matches the best deals that an enterprise can get on behalf of its users.In a BYOD approach, users are permitted certain access rights to enterprise applications and information on personally owned devices, subject to user acceptance of enterprise security and management policies. The device is selected and purchased by the user, although IT may provide a list of acceptable devices for the user to purchase. In turn, IT provides partial or full support for device access, applications and data. The organization may provide full, partial or no reimbursement for the device or service plan.
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