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November 13, 2014

Tablets hit the BYOD sweet spot

Tablets offer better opportunities than enterprise owned-laptops and smartphones.

By Ellie Burns

According to Gartner, tablet BYOD programmes offer better opportunities than that of enterprise owned-laptops and smartphones. IT departments can, apparently, support nearly three times more users in tablet BYO programmes than enterprise-owned tablet programmes.

By 2017, Gartner said that 90% of organisations will support some aspect of BYOD. These programmes today have different degrees of maturity, but Gartner predicts that by 2018 there will be twice as many employee-owned devices used for work than enterprise-owned devices.

"IT leaders can spend half a million dollars to buy and support 1,000 enterprise-owned tablets, while they can support 2,745 user-owned tablets with that same budget," said Federica Troni, research director at Gartner. "Without a stipend, direct costs of user-owned tablets are 64 per cent lower. When organisations have several users who want a tablet as a device of convenience, offering a BYOD option is the best alternative to limit cost and broaden access."

"While BYO initiatives for mobile devices can lead to cost savings, it is not always the case," said Ms Troni. "Organisations that are looking to broaden device choices or expand access to mobile technology may spend the same or more under BYOD for organisation-owned devices."

Organisations embracing BYOD will potentially see their infrastructure investments increase, with the level of investment directly proportional to the success and uptake rate of their programs.

A recent Gertner survey found that the three major technologies that drove investments in support of BYOD initiatives were mobile device management (87%), general infrastructure expansion (84%) and file share and sync (80%).

The survey further found that BYO programmes act as catalysts for technologies such as desktop virtualisation, and isolation in attempts to establish an acceptable level of security and manageability in delivering corporate applications, and data to employee-owned devices.

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Structure is vital for BYOD programmes. The right support structure is crucial in containing cost for BYOD and taking advantage of the potential cost savings. Organisations allowing users to bring their own devices to work will have to redefine the boundaries of IT’s responsibility for end-point devices support.

"A balanced mix of enterprise-owned and user-owned devices with different levels of stipends will be the most effective way of capitalising the benefits of BYOD programmes, both in terms of cost reduction and in terms of level of access to mobile technology," said Ms Troni.

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