The BYOD trend is becoming more popular among MNCs in Asia Pacific. In a recent survey Ovum asked 170 MNCs in Asia Pacific about various aspects of mobility. Over 70% of the surveyed companies already have policies relating to supporting approved employee-owned devices.
Although BYOD is initially limited to certain areas and roles within the organization, we expect it to spread across the workplace, creating difficulties for enterprise IT departments that will face the task of supporting business applications and maintaining the security of corporate data on a much greater range of devices.
Most IT departments do not have the ability or resources to meet this challenge in-house and should consider outside help. A growing number of mobile device management (MDM) solutions that support BYOD policy are available. Some service providers are already offering multiple platform options, and we are starting to see plans for cloud-based solutions. These solutions provide the option to pay as a service per user, reducing capex and minimizing the risks of trying new solutions.
If dealing with mobility is increasingly complex, the uptake of smartphones and tablets continues to soar, making the task even more challenging. Our research shows that MNCs are already supporting a large number of smartphones and tablets. Some IT managers still find the pace of change in the device market unsettling and are reluctant to adopt new devices until they are sure that they, their technology partners and their service providers can provide enterprise-grade support.
It is important for enterprises to assess providers' ability to offer MDM solutions and support for an increasing diverse range of devices, as well as their ability to cope with the speed of new product launches in the device market. They also need to provide better cost transparency around corporate tariff plans, especially for enterprises looking for a one-stop shop for all their mobility needs, including services, hardware and connectivity. One factor limiting the adoption of smartphones is the fear among IT managers (and businesses in general) of unexpected and excessive data charges.