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BYOD on rise in Asia, but challenges remain

http://www.zdnet.com/article/byod-on-rise-in-asia-but-challenges-remain/#!
More Asian organizations are embracing IT consumerization by allowing staff to
use their personal devices for work, but those resisting the move cite security and
costs as main hurdles.

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is popular in Asia-Pacific as many


companies already allow their employees to use personal devices in the workplace.
However, security and cost remain key obstacles for companies that do not practice
BYOD, say industry observers.

Sharing findings from a recent study comissioned by the company, Kevin Wo,
vice president at Avanade Singapore, said 72 percent of organizations in
Asia-Pacific said the majority of their employees use personal computing
devices in the workplace. The result is higher than the global average of 61
percent, he noted.
Delving deeper, Wo said 72 percent of respondents from both Singapore and
Malaysia said their employees bring their own devices to work while 61
percent of Australian organizations do so.
Ng Tock Hiong, manager for Systems Engineering at Cisco Singapore, said
BYOD adoption in Asia is "doing very well". He pointed to an Ovum study
which found that more than 70 percent of multinational corporations (MNCs)
in Asia-Pacific are implementing policies internally to support approved
employee-owned devices.
Consumers in Asia are familiar with juggling multiple devices in their daily
lives. Ng cited findings from the Cisco Connected World Technology Report
which found that 89 percent of consumers in Asia use between 1 and 3 work
or personal devices in a typical day to e-mail, send text messages, surf the
Web and post updates on social media sites.

Wo noted that globally, 71 percent of companies changed at least one


business process to adapt to BYOD. These processes include IT management,
sales and marketing, human resources (HR) and customer services.
Using Avanade as an example, he said the company changed the original
definition of "workstation" within the company policy to "devices" as
employees are using multiple devices including the desktop PC, laptop,
tablet and smartphones.
Many of the companies surveyed saw positive effects of BYOD, including
stronger sales, increased profits, greater agility and improved employee
satisfaction, Wo added.
"Most of our employees are very mobile nowadays, and it makes sense for us
to be able to tap on our corporate applications wherever we are," he said.
Workers: We want BYOD
Two Singapore-based professionals whose companies have greenlighted
BYOD shared their experiences with ZDNet.
For Jonathan Tan, who works in the IT industry, he said his company has
moved its e-mail and other related services to the cloud via Google Apps. He
said the BYOD system benefits both him and the company as he only
requires one phone to access both personal and corporate apps.
Tan added that through phone subsidies, the company is able to save
hardware cost and users like him are able to respond to work-related matters
faster as they only have one device to manage.
A PR professional, who requested to remain anonymous, said while the
company allows employees to access files from the shared drive through
personal devices, they have to "go through hoops" to reach the files. As

such, he prefers not to access the files through his personal devices because
"it's not worth the hassle of setting up everything".
"My company does not promote a BYOD culture and we're still on a 'everyone
gets a desktop' mentality," he said.
"Companies that do not promote a BYOD culture usually have very backward
processes with their IT departments where you need 5 million forms to get
something done on your PC, for example, when setting the default browser."
Security, cost, policy changes preventing BYOD
While the majority of the Asian companies surveyed have implemented
BYOD, Wo acknowledged that some are still hesitant.
"From the organization's perspective, there are still concerns around data
security and compliance .The increase in cost in managing multiple devices
and platforms have also created a challenge for some," he said.
He added security remains one of the key challenges of BYOD but other
roadblocks are equally significant. For example, companies might find they
do not have time to train employees on BYOD-related security risks or find it
difficult to implement policies to govern employee-owned devices.
Ng added that companies will need to invest in an infrastructure which
enables a secure wireless environment, changes in policy framework and a
change in corporate culture.
Even with BYOD policies in place, companies need to have the right tools and
applications which run across multiple devices for employees to maximize
the potential of BYOD, Ng added.