Another growth of BYOD (bring Your Own Device) and “almost a final nail in the coffin of the desktop pc” report has hit the streets, this time from Forrester whose latest report highlights the rise of mobile devices in the workplace.

“Benchmarking Your Enterprise Mobile Device Operations Initiatives And Plans” reports that 66% of employees now use two or more devices every day, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets. A smaller, but important 12% per cent said they now use tablets at work. That’s still far fewer than the 50% who report only using a desktop, or the 82% who use a desktop alone or alongside other devices.

However, falling prices, changing attitudes and other factors indicate that the BYOD movement is growing apace and companies should plan for its integration. Key highlights of the report are:

IT executives must find strategies to support an increase in mobile BYOD devices

IT executives are challenged with supporting more smartphones, tablets, and other connected mobile devices for employees, deploying more mobile applications, and establishing mobility policies to manage policies for bring-your-own-device programs to support employee mobility requirements.

IT departments must identify and prioritize resources for BYOD initiatives

Corporate IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) and security and risk (S&R) departments must focus on identifying, rationalizing, and prioritizing the specific and sometimes confl icting mobility requirements of three key constituencies: IT executives, business decision-makers, and employees.

IT organizations must control the multifaceted mobile device and application landscape

Business and technology solutions, including mobile device and security management services, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs, and mobile application stores.

Recommendations include:

  • Supporting more BYOD mobile devices. I&O and S&R executives must define strategies to support the significant increase in the number of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, used in the workplace. Fifty-five percent of surveyed enterprises identify supporting a greater number of connected smartphones as a high or critical priority during the next 12 months (see Figure 1). In addition, 52% of enterprises prioritize supporting connected tablets such as Apple’s iPad, the Motorola Xoom, the Nexus 7, and the Samsung Galaxy Note that are quickly making their way into enterprises as critical or high priorities. The sheer variety of mobile devices and their rapidly changing capabilities puts pressure on IT organizations to support these new form factors.
  • Addressing a fragmented BYOD mobile device form factor and operating system landscape.The corporate mobile device landscape is further complicated by the fact that 66% of employees use two or more devices for work activities each day, including desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets (see Figure 2). I&O professionals must adapt to manage the fragmented mix of mobile devices and operating systems used, and often paid for, by employees. These employees expect the IT department to support their mobility service needs, even if their personally selected mobile devices are not on the corporate-approved device list. The trend for employees to select, purchase, and use their personal mobile devices and mobile services for work is known as consumerization of IT.
  • Expanding support to address the mobility needs of various end user constituencies.Many companies are expanding their mobile support for employees, partners, and customers. In fact, 52% of firms are focused on providing more support for employees who work out of the office. These workers are considered to be “mobile” by enterprises, and they use BYOD applications to help them be productive and to stay in contact with other employees while they are out of the office. Examples of roles in this category include sales executives and field service professionals. It’s even more interesting to note that 45% of enterprises are prioritizing more mobile support.