Ireland is no longer a one-device society relying on a PC or laptop for all tasks, a recent Citrix survey revealed.
In fact, 46pc of workers reported using three or more devices on a daily basis. Irish workers are becoming increasingly ‘tech savvy’ and 80pc of those who use personal devices for work purposes claim they are "do it yourselfers". They take care of their own IT needs rather than relying on IT to manage the device or install new applications.
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‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) is a business model that empowers employees to bring the device, be it a laptop, smartphone or tablet, that best suits their virtual workstyle, into the workplace. By choosing their device, employees can use one tool to access both personal and corporate information and gain increased mobility, satisfaction and productivity, with the ability to work from any location.
These latest findings from Citrix demonstrate the demand for the BYOD concept by workers, which in turn is encouraging companies to facilitate this multi-device workforce. Gadget lust is no longer confined to those in the IT department. IT workers and managers have enjoyed the right to use their own gadgets and toys in the workplace for years, but now employees in all types of companies, positions and levels are demanding the same access. In particular, the younger, consumer-driven population, who identify with the brand of laptop or phone they use as a prominent part of their identity and lifestyle. Apple or Android, they are always on and always mobile and are demanding a work environment that caters for this.
Companies and BYOD
Indeed, it’s important to note it is not just IT companies with a vested interest in ‘bring your own’ that are doing this. Most significantly, Kraft Foods announced in May 2010 that it plans to let employees buy their own PCs. Kraft, with 97,000 employees, will offer remuneration and free copies of Microsoft Office and a security software.
However, with the variety of new devices flooding into the enterprise, employees’ growing demand for even more flexibility and the need to access company data from any location, on any device and at any time, the IT department is facing a difficult and unprecedented challenge.
Desktop virtualisation is one technology which is securely supporting this trend of consumerisation and is enabling IT to fundamentally rethink the way user hardware is provisioned. In an ever more mobile world, desktop virtualisation enables an organisation to provide a safe and managed way to deliver company data to an individual’s PC or personal mobile device.
Just as pervasive connectivity and always-on communications have blurred traditional boundaries between work and personal life, BYOD makes it possible for users to take care of personal business while on breaks at the office, or finish up work at home. With only one environment to personalise and consistent access to both sets of data and applications from any location, users become more efficient and productive in everything they do. In the past, this scenario would have created an IT nightmare, making it impossible to enforce effective security or control interaction between personal and business workspaces.
Corporate data will continue to be the property of an organisation and IT administrators can centrally terminate the corporate desktop and wipe data from the device if it’s lost, stolen or if the employee leaves the company. By managing all desktops and applications centrally, and delivering them as an on-demand service, it no longer matters what device the employee uses, where they use it or even if that device is lost or stolen. BYOD really could be the answer to the CIO’s prayers.
At the Citrix Virtual Computing Forum 2011, attendees will receive advice on how their organisation can securely manage this trend, ensuring employees can remain productive and data remains secure, no matter what device they are using.
Francis O’Haire, Technical Director, DataSolutions
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