In September of last year, we posted on the topic of the ‘consumerization of IT’ or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Today’s workforce is increasingly working outside of fixed office spaces and consequently turning to consumer applications and devices, like smartphones and tablets, to improve productivity and collaboration. The result according to Avanade: 88% of executives report employees using personal devices for business.

As we forge into 2012, this trend is continuing to gain momentum within businesses, backed up by recent research from Computer Weekly and TechTarget. Its recent survey of more than 2,500 IT professionals worldwide revealed that about 30% of UK IT departments are incorporating smartphone and tablet initiatives in their strategy for 2012 as workers increasingly use mobile devices for work purposes. In fact this trend shows no sign of stopping with research stating that by 2015 55% of all business devices will be employee-liable.

It is obvious this is no passing phase and apparent that mobile devices will be a major source of change and maturity of mobile technology in business.  Entering an arena dominated by Apple’s iPad (where Forrester research has found that 21% of information workers use Apple products for work) dedicated business tablets have begun to emerge, including Cisco’s mobile collaboration device, the Cius, and the Avaya Flare, a tablet with docking station that supports high definition video calling.

It will be the IT department’s role to establish a policy on personal devices in the workplace and how best to incorporate it with current company UC platforms and applications. Products that are plug n’ play and connect to multiple devices will help reduce the need for training and the burden of adoption.

As mobile devices in the enterprise grow, audio devices, such as headsets that enable privacy, deliver exceptional audio performance and advanced features, plus work with all company and personal devices, will be desired. Headsets, like our Voyager PRO UC even simplify the task of looking up phone numbers, surfing the web or checking an app, allowing you to simultaneously talk and look at the mobile device screen. Convenience will be the name of the game.

The BYOD Experience does not impose an easy task for the IT department but finding common ground is attainable with planning and correct tools in place. (Read more on our UC Toolkit here)

As an IT professional, are you incorporating smartphones and tablets into your company policy? Feel free to drop us your thoughts below by leaving a reply.