CIOs in Asia-Pacific are embracing BYOD: Ovum

70 per cent of businesses have policies in place to support approved employee-owned devices

BYOD is becoming a very popular trend among multi-national corporations (MNCs) in Asia-Pacific, according to research firm, Ovum.

In its recent study, Multinational Corporate Survey 2012: Mobility Services in Asia-Pacific, it polled 170 multinational corporations (MNCs) in Asia-Pacific, all with at least 3000 employees and operations in five or more countries.

It found that more than 70 per cent of the respondents already have policies in place within their organisations to support approved employee-owned devices.

However, despite the large number of MNCs embracing this trend, support is initially limited to certain areas and roles within the organisation.

Ovum enterprise telecoms senior analyst, Claudio Castelli, said the growing acceptance of the BYOD trend by IT departments and the greater need to mobilise data applications and support a broader range of mobile devices mean that CIOs are struggling to define their enterprise mobility strategy.

“This is even more challenging for MNCs in Asia-Pacific, which have to cope with the various aspects of mobility across a region that is extremely fragmented in terms of service availability, network quality, workplace practices, culture, and regulatory environment," he said.

The study also showed more than 60 per cent of respondents identified the reduced cost to the company in terms of purchasing hardware as a major benefit of managing employee-owned mobile devices.

Many mobile device management (MDM) providers cited innovation as another key benefit of supporting BYOD, but most CIOs remained sceptical of it. Less than a third of IT decision-makers said innovation is an important benefit of managing employee-owned devices.

“Although CIOs recognise that employee satisfaction and retention are important benefits of BYOD, they are pragmatic, and are building the business cases around cost savings rather than productivity gains,” Castelli said.

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