BYOD a must for 50% of staff by next year: Good Technology

Employers are going to capitalise on worker demand for BYOD by offering it as a perk, but they're also going to do so because it can cut their fleet costs, Good Technology predicts.

Within a year, 50 per cent of employees will demand that businesses allow them to bring their own devices to work, according to Good Technology vice president and corporate general manager for the Asia Pacific region Jim Watson.

Watson said that, just as companies regularly reimburse their employees if they use their personal vehicle for business use, they will soon be doing the same for personal devices and use this feature as a perk to drive recruitment.

"The top tier employers that are capturing great employees, they'll say ... 'When you come here, bring your own device and we'll give you $20 a month for your data plan', and you'll say, 'Wow, that's a cool company'."

But rather than prospective employees forcing businesses to offer BYOD as a perk, Watson said that businesses themselves would be pushing for the trend, in order to cut fleet costs. Watson said it wouldn't be unusual for a company of 6000 employees to be paying $70 a month for old fleet devices.

"Wouldn't it be nice if they said everybody gets $20 a month, and go pick whatever you want to pick? You could take a lot of cost out of your business."

Another benefit is that while businesses may hold onto devices running older versions, to make sure that the operating systems are compatible with enterprise applications, if the company implements a BYOD policy, it will be forced to make sure that applications run on whatever device users currently have.

This will mean that, as carriers phase out devices with older versions of operating systems on them, those versions will also disappear out of circulation in the enterprise, making sure that devices remain up to date.

Of course, this will require users to upgrade when they can, something that doesn't always happen. According to Google's site for developers, 63.6 per cent of users are still running the older 2.3.3 version of Gingerbread Android, which has been shown to have a number of highly rated security vulnerabilities.