With the recent release of the iPad 2, consumers eagerly queued to make sure they were among the first to get their hands on the newest tablet. That demand saw the launch of a large variety of computing devices in 2010, as well as over 100 new tablets announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas this past January. The release of the first iPad led a wave of new tablet computers across a range of platforms including Apple, Google and Microsoft.
This trend is expected to continue as new products surface. According to a report by research group IDC that was released in February, smartphones outsold personal computers for the first time ever as consumer electronics makers shipped 100.9 million smartphones in the last three months of 2010, an 87 per cent jump from a year earlier. The iPhone is extremely popular, and Android is growing fast.
What this means for business
The iPad, iPhone and other tablets and smartphones are proving to be more than a consumer phenomenon, as the lines begin to blur between work and play. More and more businesspeople are increasingly adopting the iPad and other 'consumer' devices for a range of mobile applications. As they already covet these devices for their own use, they don't want to have to carry around two separate smartphones, laptops, or other devices for personal and professional use. IT departments are being approached by C-level executives looking to integrate new technologies, and a "Bring Your Own Computer" model utilising desktop virtualisation is one simple, secure way to do that.
"If they don't have it, bring your own"
BYO or Bring Your Own is a business model that empowers employees to bring the device - laptop, smartphone or tablet - one that best suits their virtual work style - into the workplace and to use it on corporate networks. By choosing their device, employees can use one tool to access both personal and corporate information and gain the ability to work from any location. This approach greatly increases user satisfaction by giving employees the freedom to choose the exact mix of options, features and styles that match their personality and individual computing needs.
BYO can be offered as a company sponsored stipend programme where employees can voluntarily receive a certain dollar value from the company to purchase a laptop or device of their choice along with a hardware maintenance programme. Alternative programmes may not provide a stipend but allow existing employee devices to be used in the enterprise.
A successful BYO programme enables IT to save time and money by simplifying IT infrastructure and reducing the costs of supporting the device, as its maintenance and administration is the responsibility of the user. BYO makes it possible for users to take care of personal business while on breaks at the office, or finish up work at home. With consistent access to both personal and professional sets of data and applications from any location, users become more efficient and productive in everything they do in their business and personal lives.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.