Workforce evolves with rise of BYOT

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As security advances and third-party apps grow and improve, tablets at work are here to stay says Shoretel’s Clinton Fitch

The ever-changing tides of the tech industry, including the evolution of smartphones and a growing emphasis on mobile working, have changed the way businesses interact. Users now demand more from their company devices as they are increasingly used for both personal and professional matters.

The growing popularity of tablets in the enterprise sector is a sure sign of the changing demands of the mobile workforce to the point that a purely enterprise device is becoming a foreign concept to most businesses.

It is features such as functionality, accessibility and intuitiveness of consumer devices, which now appeal more to the end user while advances in security also address issues and previous concerns within businesses. A sign of this shift is an increased focus from developers on creating more apps, usable on consumer- devices, but purpose-built for the work environment.

Mobility is key – and heavy investment in mobilised online services for use at online companies and traditional IT businesses is fast becoming the norm. Tablets are here to stay, with major software vendors creating third-party apps that integrate with these devices and provide a better user experience.

Designed from the ground up, these apps are built specifically for mobile, rather than just duplicating the traditional desktop or browser experience.As momentum in this market builds, that feeling of frustration when using a poorly transplanted app will soon be a thing of the past.

Tablet security has advanced alongside an exponential growth in their popularity – Samsung recently reported a triple-digit growth in sales – and most providers now offer significant protection in instances of tablet theft,damage or any other security compromise.

Data and content are also secured on devices, reassuring company executives by protecting corporate-sensitive data that could be under threat of loss or espionage. To the benefit of both users and businesses, this information can now be sandboxed within an app on the user’s own personal device.

This easy provision of security means that companies can no longer blame a lack of safety as an excuse for not being fully behind the transition to a BYOD workforce – pretty soon we’ll see iPads become as common in the workplace as a laptop or desk phone.

Out of necessity, IT departments are learning to cope with new demands from the self-servicing multitudes and incorporating the new devices into the working ecosystem. According to analyst firm Forrester, tablets are ultimately becoming mainstay devices in the workplace and over the course of the next four years, almost a fifth of tablets will be bought by enterprises.

The enterprise will change with the growth of the tablet market and companies must embrace this if they are to avoid stasis. BYOD, BYOT, BYOC or whatever industry phrase is next coined is a necessary step in the evolution of the workforce, and one that can make employees more productive while enabling and enhancing the device users’ love.

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