Half of world's companies to embrace BYOD by 2017

About half of the world's companies will adopt bring-your-own-device programs by 2017 and will stop providing computing devices to employees, a new Gartner report predicts.

Ultimately, only 15% of companies will never move to a BYOD model, while about 40% will offer a choice between BYOD and employer-provided devices, according to the report, by Gartner analyst David Willis.

While mobile computing improves productivity, the average cost of company-provided devices is high: more than $600 per employee per year. The ability to cut those costs combined with opportunities to increase employee satisfaction, among other things, has helped drive the BYOD movement, Willis wrote.

Most of the IT executives surveyed by Gartner think well of BYOD, but only 22% said that they "believe they have made a strong business case" for mobile projects, according to the report.

One challenge of BYOD is figuring out the best way to reimburse employees for their out-of-pocket expenses, according to the report.

Other considerations include security concerns, the cost of management tools, the need for application licenses and "more potential problems for an overtaxed help desk," Willis wrote.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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