One Thing IT Leaders Are Learning: Don’t Fight BYOD

The concept of BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device” (), has commonly been viewed through one of two lens: Either an opportunity to accelerate productivity and worker satisfaction or a threat brought to the enterprise by workers themselves.. Those same letters, when rearranged, ironically make up the word "body".  No wonder: frequently a smartphone, a tablet or a netbook can be part of the body of a workaholic professional, and that does not change much from region to region.

The initials stand for the idea spread through many different professional environments that allow (and many times even incentivize) workers to bring their own technology and mobile devices to work.  A recent report provided by Juniper Research shows that the use of BYOD is more intense, curiously, in Emerging Markets such as China, Brazil and Mexico than in developed economies like Great Britain, France and the United States.

The same idea is reinforced by Gartner. According to an analysis done by the research company, emerging economies, especially the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have a higher percentage of “Y generation” employees, which are those more fond of the “BYOD philosophy”.

During a Gartner conference which took place in São Paulo this month, Gartner shared results of a global study (participation came form 900 companies with more than 500 workers each including Brazilian ones)  showing that 90% of the repliers use their own devices at work, and that 86% plan on adopting tablets for professional tasks.

The main message after the panel "Architecture of applications, development and integration", given by Van Baker, was "fighting BYOD is a crazy battle” -- as published in the local branch of Computer World.

From Mr. Baker’s speech, bosses in general (which include those of BPO/Outsourcing companies anywhere in the world) can infer one simple thing: it doesn't matter where you are, do not waste energy and time trying to get rid of it -- even though some security concerns might be considered. Instead, make BYOD an ally at your enterprise.   

Gartner suggests that, beyond creating security measures to avoid the leak of confidential data, companies should also create multidisciplinary teams with mobility strategies, to work alongside IT. Another measure would be to establish policies to ensure the reimbursement of costs regarding BYOD.  

In the next two years, the number of mobile devices inside the corporate environment will more than double, predicts Juniper Research. Today, they are around 150 million and should rise to about 350 million by 2014. 

The same study shows that the most reluctant "bosses" are those from the public sector. Two main reasons: worries regarding the security of confidential data and less pressure to be competitive in comparison to private companies.