I believe technology must bend to the will of individuals. And the BYOD phenomenon tells me that that's, fortunately, beginning to happen.
Now, let's look at BYOD from a complexity-cost perspective. Whether an organization uses traditional architecture, virtual desktop technology, or a combination of both, the most significant management costs have little to do with the cost of devices or back-end infrastructure. That's also true for BYOD. Attempting to support the diversity of mobile OSes is bound to become counter-productive in a short while.
So what are the significant portion of complexity-costs associated to? Migrating users to new operating systems and ensuring IT resource utilization. The consumerization of IT, inherently, addresses both these concerns with significant capital cost savings.
Today, user demands outpace IT budgets. The internal workforce is demanding--as well as driving--the workplace towards BYOD. Most of my internal customers think that allowing employees to use personal devices for work will drive up productivity and foster social collaboration. At ING Life Insurance, the primary reason for moving a significant part of our sales staff to a BYOD environment was to create greater flexibility at work. We've given staffers, using personally-owned devices, access to resources such as corporate e-mail accounts, contact lists, and intranets. The field force is a highly-mobile team and encouraging them to use personal laptops or netbooks on our network had the dual benefit of increasing user convenience and boosting productivity.
Of course, the adoption of BYOD will vary across industries depending on the confidentially of the information on their network. But organizations must explore ways to harness the significant advantages of allowing personal devices at work.
Sriram Krishnan, Executive VP-IT, ING Life Insurance