Mobility is moving fast: To stay in control, you have to prepare for change

When it comes to employee-owned smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in the workplace, the numbers do the talking. A recent survey by The Aberdeen Group found that 72 per cent of responding companies allowed the practice known as BYOD — bring your own device. And Information Week, in its own study, found that 65 per cent of organisations expect BYOD adoption to increase.

The business use of personal devices has surged dramatically. Between 2008 and 2010, the number of companies allowing phones based on the Google Android platform went from zero to 43 per cent. And the use of Apple iPhones accelerated from 28 per cent to 66 per cent.

The reason? While smartphone vendors have begun to more actively pursue corporate markets and design their products to meet business needs. It is the consumerisation of IT — users' desire for the same functionality in their business devices that they have in their personal ones — that usually gets the credit. For 61 per cent of The Aberdeen Group's respondents, the principal reason for allowing BYOD smartphones and tablets was employee demands for mobile functionality beyond simple email and calendaring.

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