Digital Transformation

BYOD ‘will mostly be funded by staff by 2017’

If staff want to use tablets and smartphones, they may have to pay for them.

The ‘bring your own device’ trend has been hitting the headlines a lot recently, with many workers now using smartphones and tablets as they go about their jobs.

Sometimes they are provided by their employers, which has also been a talking point – especially when those organisations are funded by the public and so are using taxpayers’ money.

However, a new study by Gartner has predicted that this will become a thing of the past and that business owners will start to expect staff to buy their own technology if they want to use it.

Indeed, the organisation said 38 per cent of firms think they will stop providing things like smartphones to employees by 2016, a figure that will increase to half the following year.

This will mostly apply to tablets and smartphones, but could also extend to PCs.

There will have the be something of a sea change if this is the case though, as nations in Europe currently have the lowest BYOD adoption rate of all the countries studied.

Managers questioned reported that workers should be able to use their mobiles to manage things like timesheets, which could make a big difference to human resources operations.

Vice-president and analyst at Gartner David Willis said BYOD is "the most radical change to the economics and the culture of client computing in business in decades", but he urged businesses to make people aware of the benefits it offers if they are to see an increase in adoption.

Mr Willis also said it stands to common sense that managers should not have to pay for the devices their staff use.

"What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device and the company helps to cover usage costs," he opined.

It may also be necessary to set up better data protection systems for BYOD, as all that extra access could pose problems otherwise.

The comments come after technologist Joe Baguley told Computing magazine he thinks BYOD is "a bit of a misnomer".

"It’s actually more about the fact that people want access now to data and applications anywhere on any device. The real challenge is delivering data and applications to any device anywhere," he pointed out.