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End-users at odds with channel over BYOD pitch

Alex Scroxton

Two pieces of research from managed services providers Avanade and Damovo have suggested that certain aspects of the BYOD pitch may be considered largely irrelevant by end-users, with a majority even accusing the vendor channel of "over-hyping" the trend.

Although neither report disputed the fact that the BYOD trend is alive and kicking, Avanade suggested that talk about the importance of being able to use one's own devices in the workplace to those born from the early to mid-1980s onwards was overstated.

Just 32% of business leaders had embraced BYOD policies to make their workplace more appealing to Generation Y, while only 20% believed that allowing personal computing technologies in the workplace would help them recruit and retain the under-30s.

"For business leaders, the consumerisation of IT has less to do with the worker and more to do with the way employees work,"said Tyson Hartman, Avanade's global chief technology officer. "Our research shows that productivity and anywhere access are rated significantly higher by executives over improved employee morale or providing greater responsibilities to younger employees."

And although much coverage of BYOD has made iPhones and iPads synonymous with the trend, it was in fact Android smartphones, followed by BlackBerries and Apple notebooks, that were most favoured, a potential boon to resellers frustrated by Apple's channel attitude.

Avanade added that buyers were allocating an average 25% of their IT budgets to manage BYOD, with the majority adapting their underlying infrastructure to better accommodate it.

Meanwhile, 76% of Damovo customers accused the IT vendor community of having over-egged the BYOD pudding, although again they did not dispute its existence, with most saying security was the biggest headache they faced.

Priorities for respondents in the coming months were future-proofing and updating their network infrastructure, moving apps and services into the cloud, and managing and securing mobile devices. Interestingly, far fewer were considering virtualising their server estates.

In terms of supporting their overall business objectives, 42% said that their biggest priority was to improve operational efficiency within the business, while 32% cited growth and just 4% were talking about compliance. A majority of 79% admitted that resource and skills constraints were hindering their ability to deliver.

Damovo portfolio director Glyn Owen suggested this meant that moving ownership of more "remedial" IT functions to MSPs would seem to be the way forward.

"By alleviating some of the burden on their department IT directors will be able to ensure their staff are freed up to drive more growth and efficiency initiatives through the business rather than struggling to maintain the status quo," he added.

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