Tracking BYOD: Are Enterprises Running In Circles?

Bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace has evolved since the end of last decade, but not nearly as quickly or widely as many expected. There’s also been no shortage of reporting on market conditions (Enterprise Mobility Exchange is certainly part of that equation) and whether or not the policies will scale or be adopted to create true efficiencies in the workplace.

Take for example the analysis between research firms from 2013 to present day, and what they believed the future would hold. In 2013, at the beginning of the 4G rise, Grand View Research had the global BYOD market valued at $75.99 billion. In 2014, Markets and Markets projected a $284 billion value by 2019, citing a 26.6% CAGR. Fast forward to late 2016, and Markets and Markets reported a global BYOD market value worth $73 billion by 2021. Regardless of whom one believes or trusts, the trend of BYOD continuing to blitz the market and takeover business processes just isn’t there yet.

And there are plenty of reasons for that, not the least of which is the immaturity surrounding BYOD – and mobility in general – while enterprises wrangle with the need for security and the proper apps and app infrastructure to keep the business moving forward with the initiative in place.

As previously reported by Enterprise Mobility Exchange, in March of 2016, nearly six out of 10 companies (59%) were allowing BYOD platforms, with 13% more expecting to do the same in the near future. There are two major sticking points that continue to hurt the growth of BYOD, however, and both have to do with company financials.

A recent study by Syntonic and Information Solutions Group showed that while 64% of survey respondents were using their personal device for work, just 29% were being reimbursed in some way, creating a clear path to BYOD hesitancy.

What may be even more shocking about that study is that just 39% of those using personal devices for work purposes said their companies have a formal BYOD policy. Without one, the liability end of the matter becomes an enormous risk factor.

Enterprises are losing more than $8 billion annually due to mobile liability, oftentimes the result of policies lacking proper information and protection to the business. Employees using devices while driving and causing crashes, or frequenting websites that could turn into security breaches turn into immediate dangers and major hits on the bottom line.

But quite possibly the most prominent reason why BYOD isn’t as simple as many would hope is the proliferation of the market. Growth and scale are great, but when IT departments need to grapple with dozens of different hardware and software implementations just to appease a single workforce, efficiency is thrown out the window.

Both Android and Apple announced in 2015 and 2016, respectively, each had more than one billion active devices on the market, many of which were being used for work purposes. What really muddies the market, however, is all of Androids various operating systems were splattered across 24,000 different hardware devices by 2015.  No wonder enterprises are experiencing so much shadow IT – their own tech leaders can’t keep up.

Once all the data comes together, it’s easy to see why BYOD hasn’t risen to the level initially expected. It remains immature and has its work cut out if enterprise mobility is set to truly take hold of how business is done.