Sean WainerSean Wainer

BYOD benefits can outweigh the challenges of implementation, say the experts

With most people using three or four computing devices daily, and wanting to use their choice of devices at home and work, enterprises are now grappling with BYOD (bring your own device) in the workplace.

Speakers at the recent in Enterprise Executive Forum, sponsored by the Core Group in partnership with ITWeb, said consumerisation would force more change over the next 10 years than any other trend.

BYOD is the result of consumerisation – and in SA, managers have been drivers of this trend, said speakers.

, country manager of Citrix South Africa, says a recent Citrix survey on mobility in enterprise found 42% of people use three to four computing devices daily, while 16% use four or more, and 6% use five or more.

The survey also found that mobility is a reality in the modern enterprise: 53% of those polled work outside the office one or two days a week, and virtually all of those polled work outside the office sometimes.

With mobility entrenched and consumerisation dictating what devices people will use, enterprises have to adapt to the change, he said.

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The Citrix global survey found that on average, iPhone is the primary smartphone used by 39% of organisations, while is the preferred tablet device, with 91% saying Apple’s device is their primary tablet. It also found that concerns are still top of mind, with 95% of respondents saying they are “concerned” about information contained in e-mails being stored on mobile devices, 94% are concerned about information stored within mobile applications and 91% are concerned about corporate data stored “in-the-wild” through personal cloud storage services.

But while IT departments may have concerns about , data leakage and risks in the face of new devices plugging in to their networks, the trend does bring with it some benefits too.

An effective BYOD strategy can result in tighter , lower IT costs, and a happier and more productive workforce, says Wainer.

Another emerging trend is that younger employees are more inclined to want to use the device of their choice at work, and the devices they use contribute to their levels of job satisfaction.

Issues of and control of a variety of devices and operating systems can be addressed effectively through virtualisation, Wainer noted.

Echoing this sentiment, Matteo Pagani, enterprise systems administrator at law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, said his company’s deployment of s to staff has proved immensely popular. Aside from some concerns finding suitable apps for the needs of a law firm, Pagani says the deployment and integration has proved relatively straightforward and the system is secure. Pagani says over 75 s have been deployed so far and demand is growing.

Richard van der Walt, infrastructure architect: CIO team at , says the popularity of smart mobile devices is illustrated in the uptake of the bank’s programme to make mobile devices more affordable for its customers. The offer has been exceptionally well-received, he says, with around 80 000 devices sold to customers under the initiative.

A significant proportion of those have been Apple products. Van der Walt says the affordability of the model, whereby devices are paid off over a period of two years, is driving the widespread adoption of the offer across income and age groups.