Tuesday, October 2, 2012

BYOD and INDIA



Yup BYOD is big in the western countries where iPad is almost a household thing – may not be true in India by a long shot but we are not left out either. The tablets have in fact infiltrated into the corporate India. Due to all the commute issues you see in a typical urban India more & more employees are taking work to home or what I say to the road (I see today lot more people using their tablets to work sitting in the chauffeur driven car try to make the most of the horrible long commute time).

According to a survey conducted by one of the cloud infrastructure companies (VMWare) which was conducted across 10 countries in the Asia-Pacific region including India found that employees find them more productive at workplace getting their own smartphones & tablets  (72%) and  in India it was 77%.

With the consumerization of IT, corporate IT is really struggling with the growing demands from users to access apps and data from their preferred devices. Today’s young talent wants to access social media and the internet via their devices at workplace. The companies which do offer this freedom is seen as more progressive and employee friendly. The survey suggests that 82% in India are provided with a portable device by the employer but still 77% get their own device to work to complete their tasks.

In India of all the people surveyed, 72% claimed to be more productive working the devices of their choice, 70% claimed to be happier in their role when they are allowed to work using their own device and 66% said that life and work was less stressful when they had a choice of what device they use.

BYOD apart making employees productive, happy etc has also become a lifestyle symbol and choice best left to the individual employee, feels many in the HR community. In India there is a constant tussle between the CIO and the HR. CIO wants more control and says no to BYOD, but HR wants more freedom for the organization and the employees, and say that BYOD and freedom of the device are a must – a tussle I am sure will tilt towards the freedom part.

Ofcourse CIO is not a control freak either but he has his own worries. BYOD comes with its own security and data leak issues and on top of it using corporate bandwidth and time for personal work which is a loss of productivity. Some call BYOD even “bring your own disaster” (or compared to bring your own device). Lot of organizations put restrictions on how the BYOD can be used and what all it can access. The survey suggested that 47% of Indian workers felt their organizations had put restrictions for BYOD which lowered their potential work efficiency. Feels industry experts that restrictions are here as a passing phase and IT should invest in technology, management & analytics tools to help solve BYOD issues be it related to security or access or data leak.

Even Gartner report of June 2102 which surveyed organizations with 500 or more employees in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Japan sort of matches with this report.

"Mature countries consider BYOD programs as bringing with them both legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries only see technical issues. For instance, mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature MDM than emerging regions,” "In BRIC countries, employee turnover can be high in some sectors, leading to more theft of devices and data. BYOD and virtualization can reduce those enterprise losses” says a research director at Gartner.

From all these looks like BYOD is a trend that will continue to stay and thrive in the corporate India.

Manjunath M Gowda
CEO, i7 Networks – “listen to your network”
Author is the CEO of i7 Networks which works on next generation analytics and intelligence related to bandwidth, security and BYOD.

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