each to their own: how different verticals embrace BYOD


Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) seems to be common folklore nowadays. Employees wanting more flexible working are looking to enterprises to enable them to use their own devices to perform their day-to-day work, no matter which industry they work in.

Recent Gartner research forecasts 119 million tablets will be sold this year, a 98% increase from last year’s sales of 60 million units. By 2015 Gartner says it expects enterprise sales of media tablets to be about 35% of total tablet sales, though this does not account for the boom in bring your own device (BYOD) schemes that many are anticipating.

IDC figures are slightly lower, forecasting tablet shipments will grow from 19.5 million units in 2010 to 124.8 million in 2014. Add to this Credit Suisse’s prediction that sales of smartphones will grow about 46% this year to 688 million units and top 1 billion units in 2014 and it’s easy to see how BYOD is set to transform IT as we know it.

Enterprises are starting to actively encourage BYOD, not just passively accept, according to Good Technology’s latest survey of its customers. Corporate apps are also offering a range of benefits, focussing on speed, ease of use and creating standards for business across the world.

The growing use of consumer devices and services in the workplace can complicate both IT governance and investigations, according to Simon Placks, head of the IT forensics team at Ernst & Young. He told the UK’s Computing magazine that the storage of business data on staff-owned devices can make his job harder when he needs to investigate an incident.

Yet, even with this in the background, the devices are being used in innovative ways across different verticals, changing the way that professionals work. Here are just some of my favourite examples of BYOD in use across workplaces:


This Fox News story from Chicago particularly intrigued me where trainee doctors are using iPads in a bid to treat patients more effectively.

Results from the trial indicate they cut about an hour per day off their workload and put in orders for patient procedures earlier than before they got an iPad.


ZDNet looks at a South Carolina school that wants students to use their own mobile devices in class in order to circumvent funding issues.

Parents would be required to sign a consent form that exempts the school and district from any responsibility for loss or theft and use would be restricted to classes that teachers specifically want to use mobile technology in.


Mobile devices have been in the retail industry for more than 10 years, primarily for inventory management, and supply chain functions. EAT, one of London’s most successful high street food retailers, uses a QlikView Business Discovery platform to improve the company’s sales performance through basket analysiscompatible with any device used by shop employees.

The company considers it as providing “the big picture” for all their data and is planning to equip its field workers with Windows Tablets to make sure they can all take advantage of the tool.s in-memory data storage.


SearchCIO.com has an interesting overview of how Ford Motor Co has been exploring bring your own device (BYOD) programs throughout its company since 2007.

The website’s two-part interview features Randy Nunez, senior network engineer at Ford's Mobile Computing IT Enterprise Technology Research division, talking about how and why the automaker deployed a BYOD program, the risks involved, and why a participation agreement is so important.


For Arrow Container Corp, based in Indianapolis, BYOD is regarded as a fundamental future strategy. Most employees in the company, whether they be in manufacturing, shipping or sales, already have a smartphone, and sometimes tablets, too.

Network World tells of how the widespread BlackBerry service outage that occurred last year was somewhat of a shock, and also left the IT staff there with the feeling that there was a disadvantage in having everything centrally controlled under one mode.

oil and gas

Informationweek documents how Essar has implemented a BYOD policy that can locate any mobile device with a GSM tracker, and connect it with its enterprise network.

It can also take backups, wipe information remotely, and control and monitor usage to prevent the leakage of corporate information.


Within the air transport industry (ATI), airlines are constantly rolling out tablets to their crew for everything from electronic flight bags to customer service in the cabin

Jim Peters, CTO of SITA explains why it is a big deal for the industry in this blog post where he explores the implication of BYOD.

We created an infographic on BYOD security to help get a handle on how BYOD impacts corporate security.  Feel free to share it, just make sure you credit us!



image © Ben Chams fotolia.com

Stewart Baines
Stewart Baines

I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.