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It’s the multibillion dollar question CIO’s are asking themselves as they struggle to manage the dizzying amount of iPhones, iPads and other devices workers are using on a daily basis.

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BYO isn’t all its cracked up to be, say analysts.

Increasing numbers of IT managers are feeling the pressure to support numerous tabs and smartphones, according to an IDC report just published.

Introducing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies is being viewed as one answer and 50% of all organisations look set to introduce such policies in  the next 18 months, says IDC analyst Amy Cheah.

However, there appears to be a “disconnect” between the expectations held by Chief Information Officers (CIO), IT managers and employees when it comes to consumer technologies, with just 20% of workers  wanting to use their own device for work and personal use.

This means corporate devices are still desired by the majority, says Cheah.

Bring-your-own-device has been flagged by analysts including Gartner as one of the hot IT trends in 2012 and is said to boom as the consumerisation of technology continues unabated.

Players including Cisco are now looking to get a piece of the BYO action.

But widely publicised and high-profile BYOD case studies are further adding to the peer pressure, says Cheah.

One in every two organisations in Australia are intending to deploy official BYOD policies, on pilot, or partial- to organisational-wide rollouts, in the next 18 months, according to IDC.

13% of Aussie org’s already have BYOD policy in place, and a further 27% are pilot testing, while 10% have a policy for a percentage of the workforce.

For companies intending to deploy BYOD strategies, the result is likely be a broader range of devices and operating systems (OS) connecting to the corporate network at a frequent rate.

And its a lot of work, it seems: a bring your own strategy also also mean more frequent upgrades of OS’s and the need to ensure application performance while upgrades occur.

“Whilst many expect BYOD to help reduce costs, these shorter life cycles will need to be managed carefully in order to mitigate any blowouts in support, application modernisation, and lost employee productivity,” Cheah added.

Unless BYOD strategies are fully supported by the majority of employees, the deployment of such a policy may be simply problem shifting.

 

IDC’s report, “Analysing the Bring-Your-Own-Device Trends in Australia and New Zealand”  also found that device policies that are flexible and accommodating of all parties’ preferences are more likely to be successful.

In other words, “choice” will be a defining characteristic of successful device policies in the future.

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