Using Mobile Devices with BYOD

Using Mobile Devices with BYOD

Georg Disterer (University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover, Germany) and Carsten Kleiner (University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hannover, Germany)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/ijwp.2013100103
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Abstract

Using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets offers many advantages and has become very popular in private life. Using them in the workplace is also popular, but nobody wants to carry around and handle two devices: one for personal use, and one for work-related tasks. Therefore “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) may be appropriate: users make their personal devices available for company use. Apart from improved convenience this also incurs additional opportunities and risks for companies at the same time. We describe and discuss organizational issues, technical approaches, and solutions.
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Problem

Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets get high acceptance, an “explosion” of device adoption is diagnosed for them (Schadler & McCarthy, 2012). A forecast signals a 73% growth of shipments from 2013 to 2017 with greater increase for tablets than for smartphones; in 2015 more tablets will be shipped than desktop plus portable PCs (IDC, 2013a; IDC, 2013b). Reasons for this are the features of the devices and the comfort they provide. They are easy to carry and provide access to voice and data services, thereby opening up a wide variety of potential mobile applications, “anytime and anywhere.” For many of us using them daily in private life has become quite normal, the devices offer an outstanding user experience, that consists of convincing functionality and emotional reaction to appealing design and user interface; even more there might be a change of traditional priorities from experiencing and assessing functioning to adventuring “Look and Feel” (Bechinie et al., 2013).

For companies, Gartner recognizes a continued dramatic rise in the demand for mobile device applications until 2015, and considers the use of mobile devices in the workplace to be among the ten most important strategic trends (Gartner, 2012). These come along with slogans and phrases such as “… the rise of mobility and the marginalization of the PC“ and “move-and-do“ culture. With increasing use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets at the workplace, consumer devices entering the workplace are almost unavoidable. “Consumerization” describes the penetration of consumer market devices into business settings. This reverses the traditional path in which innovation has spread, where new technologies are used at companies first and then users end up also employing them for private ends. With smartphones and tablets, private users are familiar with the personal devices and their utilization in private life, and then they take them into work in the course of “user-driven innovation“ (Györy et al., 2012; Harris et al., 2012). According to a recent study by Forrester, 50% of 18- to 31-year-old and 40% of 32- to 45-year-old workers believe the technologies they use in private life are “better” than those in their professional life (Gray, 2012). Consumers transfer their requirements regarding user experience from private to professional life.

Using mobile devices for work-related tasks in 2016 is at 350 million users of mobile devices, of which 200 million will be using their own personal devices (Schadler & McCarthy, 2012; Deloitte, 2011). The advantage is obviously not to carry around two different devices, one for private and one for professional issues. This scenario is discussed under the slogan “Bring Your Own Device,” BYOD, and has been drawing much attention. According to a study of McKinsey, 77% of all CIOs plan to grant employees mobile access to company data and applications (Akella et al., 2012). This means companies are faced with the question of whether and how to manage users with own personal devices performing work-related tasks. Alike they have to manage personal devices entering the workplace in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency in data processing. Opportunities are particularly found in the increased level of comfort, while risk is seen in technical problems, in security, and in legal questions. Striking phrases have been used in describing these risks, such as BYOD interpreted as “Bring Your Own Danger” and prophecies of “IT anarchy”. Additionally, organizational rules are needed for several everyday situations.

According to research, mobile devices are already being used at around 80% of German companies for traditional telephone communication, for functions of a traditional telephone system (including short cuts, forwarding calls ...), for e-mail, and for access to centralized calendars and contact information (Berlecon, 2011). 60% of companies in the US and Europe have set up BYOD programs for smartphones, and 47% have done so for notebooks and tablets (Forrester, 2011; Deloitte, 2011). However, these figures do not reveal the extent to which utilization goes beyond rather simple telephone communication and e-mail.

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