BYOD policy helps SAP Australia attract Gen Y workers

Approximately 10 per cent of Australian work force chooses to use own device

Introducing a bring your own device (BYOD) policy in September 2011 has enabled the Australian arm of German software company, SAP, to entice new employees who prefer using a tablet over the traditional desktop.

SAP ANZ head of mobility and Cloud solutions, Andrew Fox, told Computerworld Australia that it hired just under 100 staff over the last nine months with 80 per cent of new hires, mostly workers in their 20s or 30s, taking up the BYOD policy.

This meant 10 per cent of SAP Australia’s 700 employees were using their own devices at work with the iPad and iPhone proving to be most popular.

In-depth: How to attract and retain IT staff in 2012.

An added bonus of the BYOD policy was that SAP Australia managed to reduce its phone bill after Fox found its data roaming costs were “in the thousands.”

“This led us to renegotiate our telco provider contract so now when employees go travelling we use a global data roaming policy,” Fox said. He declined to say who the telco provider was.

SAP’s global chief information officer, Oliver Bussmann, said it decided to roll out a BYOD policy to cater for the needs of younger workers.

“Generation Y doesn’t make an exception between personal and business life, they want to bring their own device to work,” he said. “BYOD is unstoppable so it’s better that the IT department manages it.”

However, implementing a BYOD policy was not without its challenges. Bussmann originally thought he could roll out one global policy to apply for all the countries SAP operates in.

“We realised that couldn’t work so we had to do it country by country starting with Japan in late 2011 and engage with people on data security and compliance issues,” he said.

“It was a combination of business, HR, finance, legal and IT infrastructure per country to make this happen,” he said.

The company uses an SAP developed mobile device management system to monitor 15,000 iPads, 10,000 iPhones and 1000 Android devices worldwide.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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