December 30, 2011, 6:49 AM — Some IT trends move fast -- way fast. BYOD, the "bring your own device" phenomenon that raised its head in late 2009, is one of them. Like Internet and email, it caught on with users faster than IT and corporate risk management expected. In 2010, businesses were asking the question "Who should own your smartphones?" Today, that question is moot -- more than half of companies let employees use their own smartphones at work, along with tablets. It's amazing how quickly BYOD became mainstream -- it took about 18 months.
Many companies that have accepted the BYOD phenomenon are taking the next step, shifting from a passive acceptance spurred on by employees and executives who would use iPhones, iPads, and Androids anyhow to active exploitation of BYOD to increase productivity and reduce mobile telecom costs. In other words, businesses are learning that not only are mobile-equipped information workers a great way to increase productivity and ROI but that employees will foot much or all of the bill for the privilege.
[ Learn about consumerization of IT in person March 4-6, 2012, at IDG's CITE conference in San Francisco. | See Galen Gruman's presentation on the real force behind the consumerization of IT. | Get expert advice about planning and implementing your BYOD strategy with InfoWorld's 29-page "Mobile and BYOD Deep Dive" PDF special report. ]
Thank you, Apple, for the freedom to choose
Most of the BYOD phenomenon was driven by the iPhone, which is fast becoming the new corporate-standard smartphone, as BlackBerry corporate sales have now fallen behind iPhone corporate sales. But Android devices are entering the fray, posing a much more complex management and security challenge than did the iPhone.