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BYOD: Bring Your Own Device

|May 13|magazine15 min read

This story originally appeared here in the May issue of Business Review Australia magazine.

Written by Muneyb Minhazuddin

Muneyb Minhazuddin is the CTO for Avaya Asia Pacific. In this role, Muneyb is responsible for the overall strategy, growth and profitability of Avaya’s Unified Communications business across Asia Pacific. Muneyb has been with Avaya for 10 years. 

Mobile technology and cloud computing combined with the rapid proliferation of popular consumer devices like smartphones, iPads and tablets are helping fuel the rise of the ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) trend. This movement, in addition to changing consumer expectations and increasing employee demands, has organisations competing globally with the increasing need to be ‘always on’ and ‘always connected.’

The BYOD phenomenon is not new, however, and has been evolving steadily with employees and organisations experiencing significant benefits of having access to work emails on personal devices. A recent IDC studyfound that 40 per cent of devices that are used to access business applications are personally owned. As the market matures further, communications will witness a transition into multi-modal exchanges of voice, video and text across a wide array of devices including laptops, tablets, smartphones, iPhones and even PC’s. A recent report by Gartner outlining its Top Predictions for 2012 highlights that by 2013, 80 per cent of businesses will support a workforce using tablets, and enterprises will offer appliance-level support for enterprise mail and calendaring. This number is expected to reach 90 per cent by 2014.

Increasing dependence and support for mobile devices also open up enterprises to the unique challenges of manageability, security and access. The ability to find methods that can help balance the efficient integration of office tools with a variety of devices without jeopardising these key aspects will be critical in ensuring business success in 2012.

As a leader in enterprise communications, Avaya outlines five priorities for enterprises as BYOD evolves further in 2012: 

1.       It starts with the right collaboration framework: With the explosion of end-user devices to support, it is important for an organisation’s architectural framework to evolve so that it can support multimedia and multi-modal communications using a wrap and embrace methodology. Architecture that deploys a SIP-based Unified Communications framework tends to outperform other networks, as they are easily able to adapt to new contact types and better support real-time communications regardless of location, device, media or mode.                                                                                    

2.       Manageability that puts people first: The bottleneck for businesses is no longer access to information, but the ability to connect people together with the right information at the right time. At Avaya, we call it The Power of We™ – and it’s all about driving faster collaboration, smarter decision making and achieving better business results. With the proliferation of devices, tools and communication channels, it is essential for organisations to be able to manage and channel communications in a manner that can help achieve real-time business collaboration in a single user friendly platform. Desktop video devices available today are equipped with real-time office collaboration tools that deliver context-sensitive mash-ups of chat, email, social networking and video communications, all tied with a common look and feel that is very easy to use, regardless of device. Enabling consumer devices with the same business application is the key to driving productivity and employee engagement.

3.       Making it virtual:An open virtualisation solution can help organisations dramatically simplify the design, deployment, and management of networks and allow the creation of public or private clouds that enable enterprises to make the most of the consumerisation of technology and the wide variety of communication devices being used.

4.       You can’t stop it – but you can secure it:In the face of the overwhelming tide of device proliferation, CIOs can no longer dictate IT policy with regard to the way users access the network. Increasingly, organisations that have what is perceived to be an overly restrictive IT policy are facing issues of retention and employee satisfaction. So rather than fight it, many organisations are seeking the most effective security and data risk management standards in order to manage personal devices on the company’s network. The ability to secure just the corporate applications on any personal device, without securing the entire device is emerging as one of the most viable options to organisations.

5.       Reap the productivity benefits: Faster collaboration helps bring about more effective enterprise-wide business adoption. Smarter decision-making can be enabled as organisations accelerate personal productivity and responsiveness to customers - by ensuring the tools employees need are available to them regardless of device, location or access mode. All of this drives an agile, engaged workforce, enhanced customer service levels and a better business environment.