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BYO device set to take off

Zafar Anjum | Aug. 19, 2011
In an exclusive interview, Yaj Malik, area vice president, ASEAN, Citrix, tells Zafar Anjum that a Bring-Your-Own (BYO) device policy coupled with desktop virtualisation will allow IT to save a tremendous amount of time and resources.

Other key factors that may affect the cost of a BYO programme is a country's culture, government policies and tax structure. In some countries, such as in India, for example, governments regard employee-owned devices as work benefits and tax them heavily for it. BYO can become untenable for employees in these countries. Luckily, most Indian companies give out larger compensation packages to offset the tax burden placed on employee benefits and they were found to be the most likely to financially support the BYO cohort in the manner of a traditional IT pool management, with direct stipends to employees for purchase and maintenance.

- Affecting everyone. There are multiple departments that will be affected by a BYO implementation, creating a challenge if not handled well. Management must get all stakeholders such as IT, Human Resources and Legal to agree on a comprehensive set of policies for administration. The policies must define eligibility, device and data ownership clauses, contractual obligations, general compliance and circumstances under which employees can be held accountable for breach of contract and how the matter or any other disputes will be processed. For example, in India, most respondents reported that BYO policies were drawn up in accordance with advice from the Human Resources department about workers' needs.   

- Sustainability. Not all employees will participate in a BYO programme. Some employees will be indifferent due to a lack of interest to maintain and manage their own devices. Additionally, depending on their roles and responsibilities, different employees will need different applications and IT would need to categorise corporate applications to ensure that all employees are sufficiently provided for. Just like how there cannot be a blanket-wide ban on alternative devices for office use, BYO should not be made mandatory. At the end of the day, it is about giving employees the freedom and support they need to maximise their productivity and efficiency. 

 How does their attitude (CIOs of this region) compare with their global counterparts?

Though there are some minor teething issues, respondents in the Asia Pacific and globally responded optimistically to the adoption of the BYO initiative. Many in the region responded that they already have or are planning to have some sort of a formal policy in place regarding support for computing devices that workers bring into the enterprise. This is similar to the results globally, where 94 percent of companies surveyed are expected to have a BYO policy by mid-2013.

One of the contributing factors to the BYO initiative in the Asia Pacific is the large percentage of workers using non-company-issued computing devices for work-related tasks. For example, by 2013, India is expected to have the largest percentage of workers using non-company-issued computing devices - at around 38 percent. This is similar to the global percentage discovered from the survey, at 35 percent.


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