There are lots of benefits to BYOD. Workers get to choose a device they're happy with. They're likely to do more work when on the go, increasing productivity. And businesses may be able to cut costs.
A Gartner report released today cites another benefit to BYOD: an increase in the number of mobile app users in the workforce. "Rolling out applications throughout the workforce presents myriad new opportunities beyond traditional mobile email and communications," Gartner wrote in a press release about the report.
For instance, self-service HR, time sheets, and punch lists are the kinds of apps Gartner said become more widely used with BYOD. It said that the "legacy of the BYOD phenomenon" will be expanding access and driving innovation.
The trend in BYOD has indeed opened the door to the bring your own apps trend. As evidence, IT admins are increasingly looking beyond mobile device management tools toward those that also let them manage apps that people are bringing to work. Many of those apps are designed for use on mobile devices.
The Gartner report was wide-ranging. It also predicts that by 2017 half of employers will require workers to use their own devices for work. It found that 38 percent of companies surveyed said they expect to stop providing devices to workers by 2016.
Who pays for the phones and service is continuing to shift. Currently, Gartner found that around half of BYOD programs offer some reimbursement for the cost of the phone. It expects that businesses will reduce the amount that they subsidize phones until ultimately most companies will shift the full cost of the phone to the user, while covering some usage cost. That settles issues that arise when an employee leaves the company, Gartner said.
While BYOD can cut costs for businesses, they'll still incur some costs to manage devices and apps. Gartner told IDG News Service that businesses spend on average $600 per employee for company-issued devices. Right now, that's pretty dramatically reduced, to around $100 to manage BYOD today. But Gartner thinks that will rise to more like $300 per worker per year by 2016, mostly because of license fees for mobile apps, according to the news service story.
Not surprisingly, Gartner found that BYOD is most prevalent in mid and large organizations. Since those are the businesses that were most likely to issue phones, it makes sense that they're the ones shifting their policies.
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