The generation entering today's workforce expects to have devices they want to use, and offering employees choice has become a key element in attracting the best talent amid an increasingly competitive talent war.
Anil Khatri, South Asia head of global IT-client technology and field IT at SAP India, said most of his company's employees have shown keen interest in an environment that embraces the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model--a clear sign it has become mainstream.
Specifically, employees in the age group of 25 to 45 were especially receptive to having device choice, Khatri said. "Being one of the leading technology companies, it is important for us be a trendsetter and think ahead," added the SAP South Asia head.
He pointed to how the IT industry, in 2010, had witnessed an emerging trend toward consumer-oriented mobile devices. This prompted SAP's sales teams to support BYOD for selected mobile devices as part of their global IT strategy.
"SAP's device-agnostic strategy has helped us to deploy RIM (Research In Motion) and Android devices for business usage [with] compliance and policy adherence formalities," he added.
Khatri advised businesses looking to adopt BYOD to ensure they can manage and control devices as soon as these gain access to corporate assets. They also should keep in mind other issues such as privacy, infrastructure upgrade, adequate IT support, legal restrictions in different countries and human resource (HR) related concerns.
He added that to ensure governance was streamlined, SAP also established an overarching governance umbrella to cover the policy and legal aspects pertaining to the use of mobile devices.
"This was required to protect interests against corporate litigation, data privacy protection and reimbursement processes," he explained.
SAP also integrated an enterprise mobility concept into its HR system as part of its employee on-boarding and off-boarding process. The company also created documents outlining guidelines and policies, relevant for each organization unit, to identify device eligibility and profile users.
"We believe it is important for organizations to identify primary benefits derived from BYOD and gain support of key stakeholders," said Khatri.
It is also critical to institute formal policies addressing all the aspects of BYOD as well as establish formal policies and documents tailor-made to address the requirements of individual countries, he noted, adding that there are mobile data management tools available to help resolve most concerns.