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IDC White Paper, Sponsored by Huawei:Driving Business Value with BYOD

By Ian Song, Research Manager, IDC's Asia/Pacific Client Devices team

IDC Opinion

The rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a challenge for IT departments that are losing their absolute control of the enterprise. IDC believes that BYOD is the new normal, here to stay, and with the potential to truly transform the way enterprises work in the coming years.

Instead of single-point solutions for specific issues, BYOD platform approaches are designed to grow with the organization as needs evolve. Organizations need to consider scalability, flexibility, and multi-faceted security systems that incorporate devices, networks, content, and usage patterns. Open ecosystems allow end-users to fully leverage their personal devices within the enterprise.

In This White Paper

Across Asia/Pacific, the number of employees who bring their personal mobile devices to the workplace is increasing. A recent IDC survey indicates that more than 90% of respondents have heard of, or have begun to manage BYOD.

This IDC White Paper is an in-depth exploration of BYOD and enterprise mobility, in which we discuss what they mean to organizations, plus an analysis of overall mobility market trends.

Unmanaged, unsecured devices in enterprise environments leave organizations vulnerable to breaches; while, at the same time, organizations that miss the opportunity to enable efficient mobile workforces face enormous strategic risks.

Situation Overview

1. What is BYOD

BYOD is the practice of employees utilizing their own personal devices to access privileged company resources such as corporate emails, data, databases and applications, as well as personal applications and data.

2. BYOD Trends in Asia/Pacific

According to IDC's BYOD survey, 93.3% of Asia respondents use personal smartphones in their companies, but only 13.5% report a formalized BYOD policy. One reason for having no BYOD support is that heterogeneous environments are complex, and, if not properly managed, dangerously unsecure. An important factor for organizations facing the BYOD challenge is to devise a well-designed, holistic strategy.

3. Different BYOD Platforms

There are three popular device platforms users tend to use: smartphone, tablet, and notebook PC. Each of the platforms exhibits different characteristics in user adoption and utilization. Key findings are as follows:

• Smartphone: Smartphones are small enough to be with users at all times, and powerful enough for basic work functions. According to a recent IDC survey, aside from making calls and sending text messages, BYOD users check email, calendar, browse the Web, and read documents, adding up to 36.7% of all activities on consumer smartphones. For more complex tasks like creating documents, accessing corporate apps, and attending meetings, utilization drops to 13.4%.

• Tablet: Tablets are often a viable replacement for PCs, and increasingly users are bringing their tablets to work. Typical tablet users perform standard tasks (check email/calendar, read documents, browse the Web), and in BYOD environments, accessing cloud-based services, social media, and attending virtual conferences.

• Notebook PC: BYOD users of PCs tend to be heavy-content creators. It is not surprising that IDC's survey results reveal that BYOD notebook users across Asia spend more time creating content when compared with smartphone and tablet users. IDC believes that notebooks trade-off less portability for increased productivity.

4. Benefits of BYOD

The core benefit of BYOD is that it is the perfect model to complement the shifting paradigm of work. For employees and organizations, a well-secured and managed BYOD model can deliver three categories of benefits:

• Operational Benefits: The results of well-deployed and supported mobile solutions will not only improve business operations but also raise employees' job satisfaction levels. The days when people were happy to sit behind their desks from 9 to 5 are over. It is up to IT departments to provide flexible work arrangements for both company-issued and employee-owned devices.

• Financial Benefits: Companies have a difficult time assessing the returns they get from their initial mobility investments for many reasons, including the difficulty of measuring soft benefits like productivity and the allocation of cost. However, once mobility solutions move beyond mobilizing the person to mobilizing the process, it is easier to quantify and measure the business impact. (e.g., sales conversion rates).

• Organizational Benefits: Consumerization has damaged the reputation of IT in many organizations. Now, users often have more powerful devices at home than in the office, and users view the IT department as restricting their productivity. A well-defined mobility strategy will align both IT and business objectives.

5. Challenges of BYOD

While security is certainly the biggest issue with enterprise BYOD, it certainly is not the only challenge. The bottom line is that managing consumer mobile devices is a complex problem to tackle; and there is no one point solution that can address the issue.

6. Managing BYOD

The following eight focus areas demonstrate the growing complexity of the enterprise mobility ecosystem. Organizations looking to properly manage BYOD in their environments would require various solutions from different vendors to address the need to mobilize their users and business processes.

• Defining Users: Just because every user in an enterprise can practice BYOD does not mean everyone in the enterprise should. Classifying users is the one of the first steps organizations take to allow or disallow BYOD access.

• Mobile Device Management (MDM): MDM technology has been fundamental to managing employee-owned devices. Recently, MDM solutions have evolved to consolidate the management and security of multiple OS environments, and customers should expect solutions to better integrate with the organization's network infrastructure.

• Additional Security: Security may be policy-driven, device-driven, or both. Policies should actively educate users on what can and cannot be done on personal devices in the corporate environment. IT can install additional tools for monitoring or limiting device functions based on location and encryption level.

• Wireless LAN Access Control: With BYOD, this may mean acquiring new networking solutions designed to integrate with MDM solutions which ensure the right level of access is granted based on device type and user credential.

• Unified Communications and Collaboration: Employee productivity can be improved by integrating existing enterprise communications and collaboration solutions onto employees' personal devices, which will allow users to participate in virtual meetings and produce inputs regardless of user location.

• Secure Remote Access: BYOD users may not have the expertise to set up solutions like secure VPN on their mobile devices. Therefore, IT should leverage capabilities from MDM solutions or other sources to remotely configure end-user devices in order to minimize end-user complexity.

• Mobile Application and Content Management: Applications designed for mobile devices can drive additional productivity. Therefore, IT must look to solutions that manage and secure content delivery to employees' personal devices, often with support from third party Software Development Kits (SDKs).

• Virtualization: Virtual Desktop Infrastructures (VDIs) host multiple and unique desktop operating systems in the data center. This enables IT to centrally manage policies for end-user access to all corporate resources and applications.

IDC recommends companies right-size their infrastructure before implementing any specific software-based solutions. Infrastructure improvements ensure the scalable capacity to anticipate peak loads and minimize downtime. Vendors who address mobility infrastructure with converged, holistic solutions help customers contain costs and speed time to market.

7. Developing an Enterprise Mobility Framework

With the influx of consumerization and BYOD, corporate IT departments are opening normally secure infrastructures to support the trend. However, few organizations have the kind of mobility strategy that establishes access profiles based on role, or applications and content protection across their network.

2012 saw an explosive proliferation of MDM solutions, and 2013 is likely the year when companies will assess their current solutions and rewrite their mobility plans. Realizing that a reactive approach to BYOD will not support long-term objectives, companies are advised to take a methodical, structured approach and engage a wider audience of stakeholders to achieve a future-proof mobility strategy.

IDC has developed a three-phase framework for enterprise mobility on which organizations looking into making a strategic approach to mobility should focus.

Phase 1: Mobilizing the Person. Lay the groundwork for scalable mobility platforms to drive value creation into other parts of the business. In this phase, the challenges are mostly technical. Capital investments are high, and the ROI is not easily measured.

Phase 2: Mobilizing the Process. Sales staff can use mobile CRM applications to log client interactions, or businesses can directly measure client interactions and observe employee productivity. The challenges are twofold: First, the stakeholders may involve every line of business within an organization, and second, mobilizing the business process is technically complex.

Phase 3: Mobilizing the Channel. Payback for properly mobilizing the channel between an organization and its partners is a streamlined value chain for quicker market access and timely resolution of issues. Very much like Phase 2, but with greater organizational and technical complexities.

Future Outlook

Enterprise customers no longer seek pure-play solutions, such as MDM, to address their mobility requirements. Rather, customers require extensible, integrated platforms. Enterprise systems vendors have responded by building or acquiring MDM solutions as part of their mobility platform offerings. Hence, IDC believes the future of pure-play MDM vendors is limited.

For customers with solid BYOD strategies in place, 2013 is the year to aggressively drive more disruptive changes in their organizations, as new business models and work styles are enabled. Innovation in today's workplace is limited only by what partners and vendors can deliver.

Vendors are creating end-to-end solutions for next-generation productivity involving desktop and mobile applications support, with content and device management spanning infrastructure, virtualization, mobility, and end-point devices. Vendors that can streamline the delivery of next-generation workspace solutions will be favorably positioned in the market.

Essential Guidance

Many companies have taken the first step by launching BYOD initiatives supported by MDM, but the ongoing enterprise mobility needs are quickly outgrowing what MDM can address. IDC believes the days of the pure-play MDM solutions are at the end.

Approaching enterprise mobility requires the right mindset. IDC recommends that the following be considered by organizations:

• Be Strategic. IT must work with mobility solution stakeholders, including lines of business, security business units, and employees, to develop a thorough mobility strategy that includes detailed user profiles and solution road maps that should be aligned with both existing IT and business strategies.

• Be Secure. Extending applications and corporate data to a variety of mobile devices increases the risk of sensitive data being lost or stolen. Devices allowed onto the network must be subject to the same IT security policy requirements as connected devices to mitigate this risk.

• Be Selective. Hundreds of vendors claim to solve customer mobility challenges; however, it is vital that the vendor understand the business, integrates with existing technology, and provides a mobility platform that supports and extends future mobility deployments.

• Be Prepared. Future-proof mobility services, operating systems, and requiring an overall investment strategy to adapt and incorporate selected partners.

Ask yourself: What effect will mobility have on our business? How can mobility positively affect our organization? IDC suggests that organizations facing BYOD challenges first step back and view their mobility strategy as a value-creation challenge instead of a technical one.


Neither trend nor fad, BYOD decision-makers must plan for the fact that mobility and social media are driving new models of productivity. The theme for mobility today is intelligent transformation – perhaps the greatest technology transformation of our time. Rather than a threat, mobility is an opportunity to bring far-reaching improvements in the way organizations function.

For customers, the best partner on the mobility journey is one that shares a mutual vision and has the holistic hardware, software, and service capabilities to deliver a scalable and secure platform for the customers to grow with.

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