Invasion of the Mobile Devices

By Shahin Pirooz Print this article Print

Here’s what you need to know to manage the onslaught of employee-owned smartphones and tablets in the workplace.

By Shahin Pirooz

They’re coming into the enterprise by the dozens—maybe by the hundreds—every day. While you might be able to run for a while, you can’t hide forever from the onslaught of employee-owned smartphones and tablets.

Everyone from the top executive to the summer intern is bringing his or her own iPhone, iPad, and Android-based smartphone and tablet to work, increasingly using these devices for both business and pleasure.  While these devices may improve employee satisfaction and productivity and reduce mobile expenses for the enterprise, they’re introducing significant challenges for the IT department.

The BYOD (bring your own device) reality is creating more work for already-overburdened IT employees. If not managed properly, these consumer devices can compromise network security. In addition, they require greater in-house expertise in order to support and manage a wider array of endpoints.

Late 2010 was the inflection point when sales of smartphones exceeded those of PCs. This trend will continue—exponentially—according to analysts at Business Intelligence, who projected that sales of smartphones and tablets are going to more than quadruple, reaching 2.5 billion, by 2016. And PC sales are projected to continue an incremental rise during the same period.

Given these estimates, it stands to reason that a single employee could have three or four devices (a desktop computer, a laptop, and an employee-owned smartphone and/or tablet) that they use for work at any given time. With this broader range of mobile devices available to them, employees feel they can get more work done—including outside of business hours—and make it easier to telework from almost any location. 

While this is great for the employee, the proliferation of devices vastly expands the number of endpoints an enterprise IT manager must support.

This article was originally published on 2012-06-19
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