With the popularity of iPads, iPhones and Android devices in the consumer world, employees are not waiting for IT departments to let them use their own mobile devices for work: they are using them en masse. A recent study showed that 67% of North American iPad owners are using their iPads at work and the numbers are similarly high around the globe. This “bring your own device” (BYOD) movement is forcing IT leaders to rethink their technology introduction processes, according to this recent InfoWorld article.
There is more at stake for these IT leaders than just making their colleagues happy. There are big opportunities to reduce cost and improve productivity for companies that embrace BYOD. As Nathan Clevenger describes in his fantastic book, iPad in the Enterprise, companies can gain these benefits rapidly by creating a mobile-friendly enterprise service layer to integrate with mobile apps. Still, there are obstacles. The biggest concern in allowing personal devices on the enterprise network is, of course, security. In the managed desktop paradigm, workstations could be locked down and managed centrally by the IT organization but this corporate ownership model won’t work for BYOD environments, as users will not be willing to live with the risk of having Angry Birds deleted without their consent.
Fortunately, there is a new class of solution — Enterprise API Management — that allows secure BYOD mobile access to existing enterprise services. Please join my webinar this week where we will explore this topic in more detail.