When the IT managers were asked what BYOD means to their organization, the response was varied; 11 percent said it is just "employees wanting to use their tablets." But 32 percent chose the more sophisticated response: "The BYOD movement is about much more than managing devices -- it's about users, how they do their jobs and the degree to which organizations empower them to achieve maximum productivity -- regardless of device or location."
Typically, companies with BYOD policies focus on specific mobile phones, tablets, and their OSes, attempting to add each new model into their mobile device management schemes. Instead, a more effective approach is to control data access through digital rights -- regardless of the hardware, according to Carol Fawcett, CIO of Dell Software Group.
"Instead of worrying about their devices, we focused on enabling access to the apps and data needed by the appropriate individuals regardless of device," she said in a statement. "We found this approach allowed us to be much more strategic and enabled us to focus on our biggest BYOD problems; security, access rights and data leakage.
"This includes using an active directory-type system database to understand who these employees are and then provision the devices accordingly," Fawcett said.
Six in 10 organizations (59 percent) indicated that without BYOD they think they could get left behind. This figure is largely made up of those who are already benefitting from BYOD, and is highest in Italy and the USA (both 72 percent) and lowest in Germany (39 percent) -- the country also least likely to manage users over devices.
On average, Dell survey respondents identified four personal gains for their employees, including more flexible working hours, the ability to foster creativity, speedier innovation, and better teamwork/collaboration.
Lucas Mearian covers storage, disaster recovery and business continuity, financial services infrastructure and health care IT for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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