By any measure, BYOD continues to become more prevalent in business settings with each passing month. In the last year alone, the ratio of employees using personal devices for professional purposes has climbed – from 42 to 46 percent – while the number of employers supplying workers with mobile devices has plummeted – from 58 to 33 percent.
These new findings – from iPass – should not come as a surprise. The trend toward BYOD has been reflected in survey after survey of employees and IT departments alike. The question is, how long will this trend continue?
Two distinct possibilities for the future of BYOD
Most IT departments seem to share the view of Gartner and a number of other studies, all of which found that BYOD – led by surges in tablet adoption – will continue into next year. There's plenty to like about BYOD – employees pay for the devices, instead of businesses, and employee productivity is likely to increase.
Conversely, a recent Nucleus Research study determined that the "hidden costs" of BYOD – a phrase that first appeared in IT circles last spring – could surpass the benefits of such initiatives and lead to a BYOD "reality check" beginning in 2013.
"The reality is that the support costs, compliance risks, and usage reimbursement typically lead to a higher total cost of ownership with no discernible return on investment or productivity gains," Nucleus researchers told CIO Magazine.
Whether BYOD popularity swells next year or not, the reality is that many businesses have already gone all-in with these policies. The issues swirling around BYOD use, including information security, remain, and some businesses may need support from Solution Providers in managing these initiatives. VARs and Integrators that have partnered with VAR Staffing are able to locate the most impactful talent in the IT channel, ensuring that they have the staff necessary to meet emerging BYOD challenges.