Jump on the Bandwagon – BYO Programs are Here to Stay!

In Aug. 2011, Citrix hired a third-party research agency to survey over 700 IT professionals worldwide on the idea of BYO program adoption in the enterprise*. Here are some of the most interesting facts discovered from this survey.

Q. Why did Citrix believe BYOC was a valuable enough topic to warrant a devoted survey?
A. The concept of Bring Your Own or “BYO” has become widely known in the enterprise as the concept of allowing some employees to purchase the computer of their choice rather than being given a company-issued computer. At Citrix, we have expanded the definition under the broader term of Bring Your Own (BYO) device, which includes the myriad personal devices workers are bringing into the workplace, including smartphones and tablets.

The report was commissioned to help outline these definitions, future trends and global awareness.  

Q. What was the most interesting finding from the survey?
A. We were encouraged to see the results of this third-party survey support the theory that BYO adoption is and should be steadily increasing in the enterprise. The survey found that almost half of all companies (44%) already have some sort of formal BYO policy in place. Nearly every company (94%) expects to have a BYO policy by mid-2013. Ninety-two percent of organizations are aware that employees use personal devices for work purposes. Overall, these results show that, as Citrix has suggested, organizations need to take an outside-in approach to equipping employees with the most appropriate technology to get the job done. Management of the devices can be centralized, but the power – in so many ways – should be in the hands of the end user.

Q. What are the top 5 most interesting findings from the survey in addition to the above?:

1. Of the organizations surveyed, 28 percent of the workforce is using their own devices at work; this is set to increase to 35 percent within 24 months.
2. The primary reasons for introducing a BYO initiative are to support the business case to attract and retain the highest quality talent, to increase worker productivity and mobility and to ensure employee satisfaction, while reducing IT costs.
3. The main concerns of BYO that were  highlighted are security and policy control, as well as the difficulty and cost to support devices.
4. Desktop virtualization is viewed as the key to unlocking the benefits of BYO working practices. Almost two thirds (62%) of organizations have already invested or plan to invest in desktop virtualization. The vast majority (80%) of those organizations are using desktop virtualization to specifically (59%) or in part (21%) enable support for employee-owned devices and BYO policies.
5. Laptops and smartphones are the most popular personal devices today, yet within two years, organizations are anticipating notable growth in the use of tablets (from 8% to 23% of workers).  

Q. Are countries outside the U.S. adopting BYO?
A. The results of this survey proved that CIOs worldwide do in fact believe that both employee  and employer benefit from BYO. The exact way the employee-owned device is purchased and paid for seems to be one of the most variable elements of adopting a BYO program from country to country. Key factors are a country’s culture and tax structure. Globally, 39 percent of companies expect to have some sort of policy in place within 12 months. Adoption is deepest in India, where over a third (34%) are using personal devices.  In regions such as India and Continental Europe, employees receive larger compensation packages to offset the tax burden placed on employee benefits, making these areas more likely to lead in BYO adoption. Germany has the highest tax rate among the markets that participated in the survey (48,5% ), making some forms of BYO untenable for employees of German organizations. Special stipends have proved to be a more workable option and are becoming the norm in India, for example.

Q. How does desktop virtualization make BYO easier to adopt?
A. Desktop virtualization supports the trend of consumerization and enables IT to fundamentally rethink the way organizations manage and desktop computing resources. By centrally-managing desktops and applications in the datacenter and delivering them as an on-demand service anywhere and on any device, workers have the flexibility to  use their own PCs, laptops and mobile devices for work and home, achieving the desired flexible work style.

Q. What does the future hold for BYO program adoption in the enterprise?
A. With the percentage of the workforce using personal computing devices for work purposes set to rise to over a third by 2013 (35% up from 28%), worldwide adoption of BYO has certainly reached the tipping point. The report demonstrates a promising future for organizations to benefit from greater worker flexibility that encourages higher productivity, employee contentment and satisfaction in the work place.

*The research findings are based on responses from 700 IT professionals across seven countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Netherlands, USA and UK. In each country, half the CIOs work for companies of 500-1000 people and half work for companies of 1000+ people. The research was carried out independently by a third party, Vanson Bourne.