IT Decision-Makers Say Embrace BYOD or Be Left Behind

In a global survey of technology leaders, Dell Quest Software reports that companies that adopt a user-centric approach to BYOD tend to reap the most benefits and suffer the fewest setbacks and challenges.

Wed, January 23, 2013

CIO — Companies around the world are still wrestling with the concept of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and how or whether to implement it in their organizations.

Still the scales are tipping in favor of BYOD: A new global survey of IT decision-makers by Dell Quest Software reports that 70 percent of companies believe BYOD will or already has improved their work processes and 59 percent believe they would find themselves at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD.

Dell commissioned technology market research firm Vanson Bourne to investigate attitudes toward BYOD, with a particular focus on the prevalence of device-centric and user-centric approaches to BYOD and how these approaches affect perception and outcome. Vanson Bourne interviewed 1,485 IT heads from enterprise-sized organizations in Australia, the Beijing region of China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Singapore, Spain, U.K. and U.S.

"We're seeing dramatic changes in the way users interact with technology on their personal devices and the critical role BYOD plays in transforming business and IT culture," says Roger Bjork, director of Enterprise Mobility Solutions at Dell Software Group.

"This global survey confirms what we have long suspected—companies that embrace a user-focused approach to BYOD may reap the biggest rewards, face the fewest obstacles and deliver real and immediate value in terms of greater efficiency, productivity and competitive advantage," says Bjork. "Those slow to support BYOD or constrained by a device-centric approach may deal with greater challenges, including the risk of being left behind from a competitive standpoint."

Mature BYOD Programs Mean More Benefits

The survey found that organizations with mature BYOD programs are the most likely to achieve the most benefits out of BYOD. In addition, organizations with a user-centric strategy tended to report a significant, positive impact on data management, security, employee productivity and customer satisfaction. Seventy-four percent of companies with user-centric strategies say they experienced improved employee productivity and 70 percent reported faster customer response times.

As might be expected, companies with well-established BYOD policies are the least likely to experience setbacks and more than one-quarter said they had experienced no setbacks at all.

User-centric BYOD Tends to Be More Successful

Not surprisingly, the survey found that organizations are varied in terms of what BYOD means to their organization. Eleven percent of organizations said BYOD is just "employees wanting to use their tablets." It should perhaps come as no shock that these organizations were unlikely to have taken any steps into the BYOD world.

The report found that 32 percent of respondents had a much more nuanced definition: "The BYOD movement is about much more than managing devices—it's about users, how they do their jobs and the degree to which organizations empower them to achieve maximum productivity—regardless of device or location."

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