Wednesday, 26th June 2019

Why BYOD is offering new challenges for IT managers

With news that PC sales are on the decline, attention has now turned towards the issue of mobile communications in the workplace - and the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept in particular. However, as Voyager Networks is experiencing, this change in trend means IT managers are facing a whole new set of challenges.

"In my view", says Sean Huggett, Voyager's managing director, "although the PC market is in decline, it's certainly far from dead and many types of organisations will always prefer to have a PC on the desk".

It can't be argued however, that the workforce now has a whole range of communication alternatives, which will effectively allow staff members to work not just from home, but wherever they are in the world.

The BYOD concept has arisen from changes in working practice (including hot desking, road warriors and home working), and the need for staff to have connectivity that's "always on". Laptops, tablets and smartphones are considered essential items when on the move or away from the office.
A great example of how this concept has been adopted right across the commercial sector is demonstrated by the Williams F1 team, which recently confirmed it was partnering with UC solutions provider, ShoreTel. ShoreTel will subsequently handle telecoms for all of its forthcoming 19 F1 races through an upgrade of Williams' track-side and factory phone systems.

"IT managers are now faced with the decision of whether they incorporate BYOD fully, or issue corporate standard devices", says Huggett. "What mobile devices should they choose and will they allow their critical apps to work? Savings from less upgrades by adopting BYOD are attractive of course, but multiple devices are obviously harder to manage. Security is also proving an issue, with the prevention of data leakage being a major priority".

So how should managers consider the integration of BYOD into their organisation? Huggett suggests adopting a top-down approach, incorporating this aspect of IT into the business strategy: "We'd recommend devising a mobility strategy, which looks at the aims and objectives of the organisation. A road map is also absolutely essential as a foundation for the development of IT policies surrounding mobile devices".

With new devices and software being released almost every month, the latest being ShoreTel's docking station which transforms mobile devices into desk phones, surely it's only a matter of time before the majority of UK businesses have incorporated some aspect of BYOD into their business strategy? It's time then, that IT managers start tackling these new challenges head on.

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