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BYOD: a sea change for enterprise

By Tracy Burrows, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 3 Aug 2012

An effective BYOD strategy can result in tighter security, lower IT costs, and a happier and more productive workforce, says Citrix SA's Sean Wainer.

With most people using three or four computing devices daily, and wanting to use their choice of devices at home and at work, enterprises are faced with the fact that BYOD [bring your own device] is a reality, and concerns over bandwidth costs and security are unwarranted.

This emerged at the iPad in Enterprise Executive Forum, staged in Rosebank yesterday. The event, sponsored by Core Group in partnership with ITWeb, assessed the trends and challenges of BYOD in the South African enterprise.

The BYOD trend is the result of consumerisation of IT – and in SA, managers have been drivers of this trend, said speakers.

Sean Wainer, country manager of Citrix South Africa, says a recent Citrix survey on mobility in enterprise found that 42% of people use three to four computing devices daily; while 16% use four or more, and 6% use five or more.

The survey also found that mobility is a reality in the modern enterprise: 53% of those polled work outside the office one or two days a week, and virtually all of those polled work outside the office sometimes.
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With mobility entrenched and consumerisation dictating what devices people will use, enterprises have to adapt to the change, he said.

The iPad is widely seen as one of the biggest mobility drivers, and Apple's iOS and apps as some of the major factors forcing IT departments to up their games.

But while IT departments may have concerns about security, data leakage and malware risks in the face of new devices plugging into their networks, the trend brings with it some benefits too.

An effective BYOD strategy can result in tighter security, lower IT costs, and a happier and more productive workforce, says Wainer.

And using the best in mobile devices appears to significantly improve employee job satisfaction.

Issues of security and control of a variety of devices and operating systems can be addressed effectively through virtualisation, Wainer noted.

Echoing this sentiment, Matteo Pagani, enterprise systems administrator at law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, said his company's deployment of iPads to staff has proved immensely popular. Aside from some concerns finding suitable apps for the needs of a law firm, Pagani says the deployment and integration has proved relatively straightforward and the system is secure. Pagani says more than 75 iPads have been deployed so far, and demand is growing.

Richard van der Walt, infrastructure architect, CIO team at FNB, says the popularity of smart mobile devices is illustrated in the uptake of the bank's programme to make mobile devices more affordable for its customers. The offer has been exceptionally well received, he says, with around 3 900 devices sold to staff already.

Van der Walt says the affordability of the model, whereby devices are paid off over a period of two years, is driving the widespread adoption of the offer across income and age groups.

Concerns about the cost of bandwidth needed to enable a mobile workforce are dropping away too. Arthur Goldstuck, MD of World Wide Worx, noted in a panel discussion at the event that mobile data costs are dropping fast, and will drop further in the next 12 to 18 months. Highlighting Cell C's latest promotion, of 15 cents per MB for data, Goldstuck pointed out that, two years ago, data was priced at around R2 a MB.

Chris Dodd, Executive Head of Enterprise, Core Group
Sean Wainer, country manager, Citrix Systems South Africa
Phil Erhart, Apple Product Management Specialist
Matteo Pagani, enterprise systems administrator, Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
Richard van der Walt, Infrastructure Architect: CIO team FNB
Oliver Graaf, Core Group
Arthur Goldstuck, MD, World Wide Worx

Related stories:
Virtualisation is the key to mobility
25 Jul 2012 - Mobile work styles are evolving rapidly, and IT departments are having to adapt to facilitate the expectations of increasingly mobile users, or deal with friction and unnecessary cost.
iPads drive productivity at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr
23 Jul 2012 - Law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr has embraced tablet computing to greatly increase its productivity.
iPad in Enterprise: BYOD and
consumerisation of IT

22 Jun 2012 - The iPad has revolutionised handheld computing, sparking the explosive growth of the tablet market. Millions of users around the world use iPads every day, not only for personal use, but in their professional capacities as well.

  Click here to view the picture gallery


About our speakers
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View the post-event video

As our chairperson pointed out at the beginning of the event, unlike our other executive forums, there will be no presentations online or CDs posted after the event. This is to protect the IP that was covered during the event. Click here for some great content from Apple that will assist you along your BYOD journey.

Core Group
Core Group is the Value Added Distributor for Apple in Sub-Saharan Africa and provides a full range of value added services. Core develops routes-to-market, performs demand generation activities for Apple products and develops Apple reseller and retailer channels as well as managing the after sales services for Macs, iPads and iPods.