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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.

However, while Citrix has always believed that the consumerisation of IT is a principal trend impacting enterprise IT, no company surveyed cited it as a key driver for the adoption of BYO. Instead, the main reasons cited by respondents for investing in BYO policies and supporting infrastructure revolve around attracting and retaining top talent as well as younger workers, enabling remote working, ensuring that staff have the relevant equipment for their roles, and reducing the cost of managing devices. Productivity is another key objective, with BYO making it easier to work outside of the office and ensuring workers are best equipped to fulfill their roles.

 Do you think CIOs in the Asia Pacific are opening up to BYO device policies? What are the challenges in this regard?

CIOs in the Asia Pacific are receptive to the adoption of a formal BYO programme. Respondents in the region recognise the potential of a BYO programme and the adoption is expected to be largely driven by the desire to ensure office employees have the appropriate equipment for working needs. For example, by 2014, over 60 percent of Indian CIOs will be utilising formal BYO policies.

CIOs in the region, though aware of BYO's potential, are still concerned over the issues of security, cost of the implementation, the potential for multiple stakeholders to be affected by the policy, and sustainability: 

- Security. Security and compliance issues are key considerations in any BYO assessment. By using non-company authorised devices for work-related tasks, employees may be unintentionally putting their corporate data at risk. CIOs, on the other hand, face a losing battle of trying to own, secure and manage laptops for an increasingly mobile and independent workforce.

By implementing desktop virtualisation as part of a formal BYO policy, however, IT is able to get out of the business of managing laptops and other devices. Rather than host an employee's 'desktop' directly on their PC or laptop, it is managed centrally in the data centre and an image of this is delivered on-demand to whatever device the employee wishes to use from wherever they are. This enables IT to reduce the cost and time needed for desktop management, centrally control user access to ensure data security, and focus more on developing a more agile infrastructure for the organisation.

- Cost of implementation. While the notion of allowing workers to use their own computing devices for work-related tasks is straightforward, it is less clear who actually pays for the device. Some employers may feel that since it is employees who own the actual device, they should not have to pay for the device. However, other companies may be more open to offer a stipend to employees.

 

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