The bring-your-own-device trend has been the subject of scrutiny ever since its initial formation. Given how quickly personal smartphones and tablets became a fixture in everyday life, it makes perfect sense that these mobile machines would slip into workplaces. While BYOD has caused headaches for many businesses, still others have discovered the benefits of it. This is achieved by recognizing that BYOD is not only inevitable, but also – as InformationWeek contributor Peter Waterhouse refers to it – “naturally occurring.”
More companies than ever are recognizing this as a key component to successful unified communications initiatives. According to Waterhouse, “BYOD is happening, whether IT likes it or not.” Personal devices in the workplace will continue to increase throughout 2014, and businesses will need to adapt to change in order to stay afloat.
Advancements In Technology Make Adoptions Easier
As mobile workforce management tools and techniques have matured, more companies have been able to integrate them as part of a UC program deployment. According to IDC analysts Christopher Chute and Raymond Boggs, this has been especially advantageous for small and medium-sized businesses. Their report, the U.S. 2014 SMB Corporate-Owned and BYOD Mobile Device Survey, determined that organizations of this size have seen the biggest increase in BYOD program launches.
“With the availability of hosted software and easy-to-implement mobile solutions, SMB IT managers feel much more comfortable allowing personal devices access to internal IT resources,” Chute said.
Given that BYOD has shown no signs of slowing down, it is certain that more SMBs – not to mention major enterprises – will both have and need to manage personal smartphones and tablets in the office. This is especially true given that a new wave of devices is already on the horizon – wearables.
Wearable BYOD Tech To Enter Workplace
While it should still be a priority and must be addressed, mobile UC is expected to get a little more complicated in 2014. Much in the same way that tablets and smartphones started popping up in offices all over the world, wearable tech like Google Glass and the iWatch are highly-anticipated tools that will, with great certainty, enter the workplace.
These tools will ultimately be able to serve a wide variety of professional purposes, but BYOD strategies will have to be re-examined before wearables arrive. According to Krista Napier, IDC Canada’s manager for mobility research, there is a learning process that must occur for both management and employees regarding how these devices can and cannot be used for communications and other critical purposes.
By Katie Maller, Communications Manager at ShoreTel