January 17, 2012, 8:07 PM — In a nutshell: The ever-increasing popularity of mobile devices has changed the way many enterprise users deploy technology, with an ever-increasing body of employees now bringing their own devices into work with them. The enterprise, meanwhile, focuses on ensuring its data is available securely to these devices. So, how prevalent is this trend really?
I'll skip the potential cost savings; relative to the extent of your enterprise, a move to mobile devices in replacement of PCs will indeed save a little cash, but this will quickly be eaten up by the IT departments need to make data available and secure.
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A global Forrester Consulting study, announced in September last year, confirmed BYOD is part of today's discussions, noting that of 546 organizations looked at, two-thirds had seen end-user interest in BYOD policies (PDF).
Also interesting: 20-22% of businesses already support employee-owned laptops, tablets and smartphones. An additional 16-21% of enterprises intend enabling such support across the next two years. In this they're driven by an interest in helping employees become more autonomous in providing their own tech support. Some are chasing that holy grail of cost-saving, but I'm not convinced they've fully thought through the process.
Take desktop virtualization; 21% of the survey group are prioritizing desktop and application virtualization above any moves to upgrade their Windows installs. The impact here should be to make an enterprise completely platform- and device-neutral. This should be a good thing. Another 29% of firms are standardizing around Windows 7 and desktop virtualization.