Bring your own gadget policies to increase at work – Citrix

8 Feb 2012

The iPad 2

Expect to see more organisations adopt ‘bring your own’ policies in the years ahead, allowing employees to use their own tablets, smartphones and other personal devices in work. Citrix is forecasting 77pc growth in BYO policies over the next two years, driven by factors like cost savings and increased security.

Three years after launching its own BYO programme, Citrix claims to have achieved 20pc cost savings in its own IT budget, thanks to fewer desktop support requests and incident reports. In its report, 38pc of organisations want to implement flexible working policies as a means of reducing real estate costs and facility-related expenses. Some 61pc of respondents see desktop virtualisation, and indirectly BYO, as a way of streamlining IT management and administration. 

Citrix has an obvious stake in this trend becoming a reality, as its technology has been designed to put corporate IT applications on a raft of different device types.

However, it’s far from alone in backing the BYO message. Last year, a report from consultants PwC led the way in cheerleading the trend, suggesting it could help organisations improve their productivity and allow their IT to be more flexible.

Bo Parker, head of PwC’s Technology Centre and Innovation Group, said organisations that move to a model of owning fewer hardware assets are more adaptable to changes in the business itself or in the market.

“They’re looking for ways to become asset-light, or asset-on-demand, so what all these trends – the mobile trend, the office trend, the cloud trend – share in common is a way to reduce the asset heaviness of the company so that if it needs to change, it can and it’s not being dragged back by a lot of heavy assets.”

It’s a sea change from the previous IT delivery model, where the user had no say in what hardware platform or software they had to use for their jobs.

Seamus McCarville, head of IT with ferry operator Irish Continental Group, calls BYO “a trend to be embraced”.

Nissan Ireland CIO Rory Donnelly said the development was “good, within reason”. He went on: “If you have a policy that allows certain popular, mainstream devices (eg, iOS and Windows Phone), and you have the infrastructure to support and control them, then it’s not a problem. If you don’t have that infrastructure though, it could be quite costly to get to a position where you can allow BYOD.”

Both were speaking to as part of a new series beginning this Friday, The Five Minute CIO, which will feature Q&A interviews with Irish IT chiefs.

Gordon Smith was a contributor to Silicon Republic