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BYOD implementation to reach 40 per cent by 2016, study of European CIOs reveals

Despite a general surge in adoption of BYOD strategies, many European business leaders are still failing to fully appreciate the benefits of allowing employees to bring their own device to work, according to a new report by tech research specialist Gartner.

While nearly 40 per cent of CIOs say they expect to stop furnishing corporate-owned devices like smartphones, laptops, and tablets in the next three years, only 22 per cent of the decision-makers surveyed said they felt there was a strong business case in favour of BYOD policies.

Mid-sized enterprises with between 2,500 and 5,000 employees were the most likely to supporting BYOD adoption, Gartner revealed, but European organisations still lag behind their US counterparts.

"Most leaders do not understand the benefits, and only 22 per cent believe they have made a strong business case," said David Willis, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

"Mobile initiatives are often exploratory and may not have a clearly defined, quantifiable goal, making IT planners uncomfortable. If you are offering BYOD, take advantage of the opportunity to show the rest of the organisation the benefits it will bring to them and to the business," he added.

Gartner advised that organisations looking to usher in BYOD strategies should take particular care to specify the coverage and limitations of their policies.

"It is essential that IT specify which platforms will be supported and how, what service levels a user should expect, what the user's own responsibilities and risks are, who qualifies, and that IT provides guidelines for employees purchasing a personal device for use at work, such as minimum requirements for operating systems," Wills commented.

GIving an example, Willis noted that "the enterprise should subsidise only the service plan on a smartphone."

"What happens if you buy a device for an employee and they leave the job a month later? How are you going to settle up? Better to keep it simple. The employee owns the device, and the company helps to cover usage costs," he stated.

For more, see Dimension Data Head of Architecture Chris Nunn's five top tips for organisations mulling BYOD implementation.