The BYOD trend began when our intelligent mobile devices got smart enough for us to access work from them. Now smartphones and tablets are fixtures in all working environments and it looks as though they are here to stay—but what about those other devices? You know, those that don’t fit into our pockets.
Employees are seeing advantages to working with their own devices especially for those who do substantial amount of work outside the office. Laptops are becoming a necessity for independent workers, or just those that work from home. But that doesn’t mean employees are transfiguring their computers for work yet. Organizations are still trying to understand the platform, but BYOD options and opportunities are beginning to make themselves more and more apparent.
Recently organizations are making strides towards incorporating BYO-PC and BYO-MAC to the workspace. Microsoft has initiated the new program by introducing Microsoft’s Windows To Go feature to the new Window 8 enterprise edition. While, Apple is integrating iOS features with Mac—allowing users to work seamlessly between mediums including the ability to access full screen apps, work with Apple’s push notification and multi-touch gestures.
Technology innovations are enabling employees to select their own devices to use at work. But will organizations sign on? Is it worth it? Is it practical? There is a reason why mobile platforms enable BYOD, while laptops remain questionable.
Smartphones and tablets are cheaper compared to notebook and laptop computers. Mobile devices don’t demand companies to replace existing technology, unlike PC or Mac—which often require a whole workspace facelift. Also, computers are simply used for more situations than mobile devices, which remain a concern for organization worried about security, viruses and other attacks that might drastically affect their company.
Mobile devices make sense feasibly as BYOD, because they don’t have legacy processing. That is not true with PC, which has legacy technology that restricts access, deploy applications, apply application patches and configure appropriate user environment, among others. Although it is appealing for IT to use Windows 8, it does raise some problems for employee-owned devices. Organizations will have to assess whether the technology will work with the hardware—which can ultimately lead to licensing concerns. Users may not want the company to have that much access into their own personal data.
Apple has switched their Mac management from a directory-based system to an iOS device management which functions on XML configuration profile. This enables users to manage their work by using mobile solutions such as MobileIron and AirWatch on their BYOD.
While companies and employees weigh the pros and cons of BYO-PC and BYO-Mac, Microsoft and Apple continue to search for a new way to benefit all parties. But for now Apple has published a platform neutral white paper PDF that offers some insights for IT leaders and the platforms they work on.