xYOx – Is your business prepared for tomorrow?

Matias Heilala, Head of Strategy and Business Development, Vodafone Global Enterprise, Asia and Africa

The term Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) first appeared in a research paper back in 2005, then entered the business world in 2009 courtesy of Intel, but only really took off in 2011. Since then, things have got out of control. Just as Software as a Service (SaaS) kicked off the Everything as a Service (XaaS) trend with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Communications as a Service (CaaS), Network as a Service (NaaS) and many others that might be out there, BYOD has evolved over the years. No matter what you call it, it all comes down to enterprise mobility and adapting to the changing workplace.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) today
As mentioned earlier, BYOD first came into play back in 2009 as a framework to allow employees to bring their personal devices into the workplace after realizing that it was nearly impossible to prevent staff from doing so. It wasn't until 2011 that IT solution providers started to offer BYOD solutions and nearly three years later, a study by IDC stated that close to 60% of all surveyed organizations in Asia-Pacific stated that they have some kind of mobility policy catering to the practice of BYOD.

IDC also forecasted that up to 155 million consumer smartphones will be used for BYOD across Asia in 2014, representing a strong 40.4% year-on-year growth. The push for BYOD is understandable as it complements the shifting paradigm of workplaces, including flexible working hours and work from home options. For companies, BYOD stands to bolster overall productivity and foster collaboration throughout the entire organization, ensuring businesses are confidently connected. As for staff, BYOD meets the aspiration of the modern mobile generation and workforce, thus creating greater job satisfaction.

However, as many companies have feared, each privately owned device increases the vulnerability of a corporate network. Over the past few years a slew of security concerns have arisen including theft of confidential intellectual property, data protection compliancy and a growing threat from malicious programs targeting model devices. For example, in March 2014, the Dendroid toolkit was discovered by Symantec researchers that lets hackers develop malwares to steal user accounts. For just US$300, these cyber criminals can also intercept messages, record calls and perform DDoS attack from the victim's device.

The decline of BYOD and the rise of Choose Your Own Device (CYOD)
As much as everyone is still talking about enterprise mobility and BYOD, the reality is that it may not be a viable option much longer. IDC expects a decline in BYOD for more developed Asia-Pacific markets, such as Australia and Singapore, by the first half of 2016 as businesses migrate to a hybrid BYOD/CYOD model.

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