Executive Summary: Considering a BYOD Infrastructure
Considering a BYOD InfrastructureMelissa Andrews April 16, 2013IntroductionOver the last few years the discussion points surrounding Bring Your Own Device infrastructure modelshave revolved around cost, security and productivity. Many experts have written articles warning CIO’sthat the benefit of such an implementation did not warrant the cost or security concerns. BYOD wastouted as nothing but a trend that would soon fizzle. However, as reported on April 10, 2013 byBizTechMagazine in its article “BYOD is Growing but Needs More Support from IT” 82 percent ofcompanies surveyed in 2013 allowed some or all workers to use their own devices on the job. At thesame time only 38 percent of CIO’s were prepared to support a BYOD model. (12) This informationproves that the implementation of a BYOD-ready infrastructure is no longer a luxury but a necessity forcompanies seeking continued growth and advancement. Embracing this model is a necessity in terms ofcost, security, productivity, innovation and sustainability.Security and CostsThe BYOD naysayers cite security and costs as the primary reasons BYOD models should not beimplemented. However, upon a closer look, a strategic BYOD model can actually significantly reducesecurity threats and will likely reduce costs over time. A BYOD model that leverages Virtual DesktopTechnology (VDI) at its core ensures that no data will ever be stored on an end users device. (2)Additionally, the utilization of a Mobile Device Management (MDM) system controls which devices canhave access to corporate networks. Given that workers are already bringing personal devices into thecorporate network whether a formal BYOD policy exists or not, unmediated security holes already exist.(1) Therefore, the implementation of a solid BYOD infrastructure will close security gaps not createthem. In regards to costs, as discussed some of the major costs associated with BYOD such as VDI andMDM systems are soon to be required infrastructure investments even without BYOD in place. Yet, bysupporting BYOD, companies stand to save in terms of both capital hardware expenditures and technicalsupport costs. According to the Sharon Moynihan, Vice President of Virginia Bank, the bank’s recentimplementation of a BYOD model positioned the bank to save roughly $1,500 per BYOD device. (4) Byplacing the onus of device procurement, maintenance and support on the end user, with or without areimbursement or stipend program, companies can reallocate critical funds and resources to strategicinitiatives. Given these facts it is clear that a BYOD model does not present an unconquerable challengein terms of costs and security. In fact, implemented well, a BYOD model can alleviate these pressures.Productivity and Innovation
Aside from the riddance of cost and security concerns, companies stand to gain far more from a BYODprogram in terms of productivity and innovation. According to the infographic presented in theaforementioned Biz Tech Magazine article, Intel estimated that its workers recaptured 57 minutes perwork day due to its BYOD program. (12) Considering, the average work day is 8 hours that computes toa 12.5% productivity gain. Some of that gain can be attributed to the fact that workers aren’t beingforced to juggle multiple devices and can now utilize those that are best suited for their skillsets andparticular equipment requirements. (7) Moreover, a BYOD infrastructure by its very nature facilitiesunrestricted mobility. Workers are able to access network resources from anywhere, anytime allowingthem to work when needed or so inspired. According to a 2010 IDC-Unisys report, workforcemobilization is slated to be the fourth wave of corporate productivity in terms of historical productionmodels. (8) Unrestricted mobility is an absolute requirement for competitive companies. Remaininginnovated is another. A BYOD model can support this key business initiative in two ways. One, a BYODprogram can be leveraged to attract and retain an innovative, forward-thinking workforce. According toa survey cited in the paper "Exploring Bring Your Own Device in the Public Sector", the 56% ofrespondents who believe this statement propose that this is especially true for teleworkers andmillenniums. (9) Additionally, according to JayanthaPrabhu, CIO of the Essar Group, it is thesemillenniums that are bringing “whiz-bang technology” to the workplace. (8) Workers that are given thecapability to utilize non-standard equipment will consequently discover news ways to leverage thosetechnologies in meeting company goals. Likewise, workers will introduce new technologies into theworkplace far faster than an IT department can test, standardize and distribute them. Clearly, theproductivity and innovative gains of a BYOD program cannot be dismissed.ConclusionIn summary, the implementation of a BYOD infrastructure will alleviate security concerns, reduce costs,create productivity gains and foster innovation. Considering each of these factors, companies thatleverage a BYOD model now are essentially creating a versatile and sustainable infrastructure properlypositioned to support the continued growth and advancement of the company it services. In the articletitled “BYOD: Here to Stay or Doomed? - Unified Communications (UC) Strategies” it is stated thatGartner predicts that BYOD will rise to become a major technology trend in 2013. (10) Yet it is arguablethat BYOD is no longer a trend at all. Given the precedent that has been set by major companies such asIntel and government agencies such as Department of Treasury, both of which support comprehensiveBYOD programs, BYOD is here to stay and will be considered standard practice. (5) Noted investmentsand enhancements in BYOD supportive technologies such as VDI, MDM and dual-persona devices onlybolster this fact. Therefore, by implementing a solid yet strategic BYOD program companies will beproperly positioned to leverage future technical advances. Otherwise, as stated in the initially quotedBiz Tech Magazine article, “if your business doesn’t want to be left up a creek without a paddle, it’s timeto start rowing in the right direction.” (12)
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