The possible link between BYOD policies and IT budget increases

A Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policy is probably a sign an enterprise is investing in mobile collaboration and productivity, according to Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG).

In its recent research brief, Enterprise Mobility Spending Trends for 2015, ESG said a majority of organizations surveyed in North America and Western Europe plan to increase spending on the software, services, and devices to increase the mobility of their workforce.

The research firm recently completed its annual IT spending intentions survey of 601 senior IT decision makers at both midmarket – 100 to 999 employees – and enterprise – 1,000 or more employees – organizations, which included asking respondents with purchase influence or authority for enterprise mobility technology what their organization’s spending plans were in this area over the next 12 months. Overall, 61% said they would increase their budget as compared to 2014.

ESG noted that no single enterprise mobility initiative rises to the prioritization level of information security on an individual basis, but getting employees mobile feeds into an overall goal of improving collaboration and productivity. BYOD initiatives are still in the mix at 18%, but desktop virtualization (25%), mobile workforce enablement (19%) and deploying applications on or for new mobile devices (19%) are all higher up the food chain.

Ultimately, ESG concludes there is a heightened level of focus on enterprise mobility over the next year, and it’s a trend not likely to diminish as the increasingly common mantra of “anytime, anywhere, from any device” is evident in many of the IT priorities among leading-edge IT shops. And while BYOD initiatives account for a small piece of overall enterprise mobility pie, the research said there does seem to be a correlation between the existence of an actual BYOD policy and an organization’s 2015 enterprise mobility spending plans. Approximately 68% of organizations with a formal policy allowing employees to use their own devices for business purposes expect to increase their investments in enterprise mobility for 2015, compared to only 52% of those that ban employee endpoint device autonomy.

This actually makes a great deal of sense, as ESG notes enterprises with a BYOD policy that allows employee devices need to spend more to manage and secure data and their applications, and investing in mobile application development and deployments maximize the potential efficiencies of BYOD initiatives.

The rise of mobility and different endpoints is already being reflected in the developer capabilities of Windows 10, which is more cognizant of data being consumed across different platform and infrastructures, even the Internet of Things, as well as the further consumerization IT that has employees expecting to be able to tap, swipe or even tell their devices what to do in the office, just as they do in their personal lives.

For its part, ESG makes several recommendations for enterprises as they look to bring mobile productivity their workforce, starting by eschewing the “single-point-product approach” to mobility; instead they should aggregate applications and desktops into a self-service model with single sign-on. Enterprises should also start by focusing on the various user requirements and associated policies mapped to the data accessed by users. This includes seeking out platforms that enable business to accommodate multiple consumption models.

Finally, the research firm advises, IT organizations should go beyond fortifying policies and processes for managing and securing mobile devices, but also take into account user profiles, device types and locations.

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Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson
Gary Hilson is a Toronto-based freelance writer who has written thousands of words for print and pixel in publications across North America. His areas of interest and expertise include software, enterprise and networking technology, memory systems, green energy, sustainable transportation, and research and education. His articles have been published by EE Times, SolarEnergy.Net, Network Computing, InformationWeek, Computing Canada, Computer Dealer News, Toronto Business Times and the Ottawa Citizen, among others.

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