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An effective mobility strategy requires a well thought-out policy, whether it is a BYOD or CYOD approach.Whatever the choice, it is clear that businesses will be spending more on flexible mobile strategies by the end of 2013

First the good news. The latest EMEA Enterprise Mobility Survey from analyst IDC confirms that 25 per cent of businesses plan to spend a larger percentage of this year’s IT budget on mobile, with more than a third expecting to have more mobile workers over the next 12 months. The not so good news is that almost half of those surveyed don’t yet have a mobile strategy in place - evidence of how businesses are struggling to keep pace with the speed of change in the mobility market. Organisations are having to deal with the implications of their employees - particularly Generation Y - wanting to use their own smartphones and tablets for work. So what’s the answer? An effective bring your own device (BYOD) response which aligns with the broader business communications strategy is key here. A well thought-out BYOD policy can meet the employee’s demand for device flexibility while minimising the risks to corporate systems and data.

In achieving this balance, some organisations find it easier to adopt a ‘choose your own device’ (CYOD) approach, where staff can select from a defined, company-supplied range of devices which also fit in with their lifestyle and aspirations. With CYOD, the IT team can also focus on managing, supporting and helping people get the best out of a smaller set of options, rather than having to get to grips with a broader spectrum of devices.

Deciding which strategy to adopt is not straightforward, as there are a number of issues to consider including cost, flexibility and security. Yet it’s also no longer just an IT issue, as it directly involves other departments such as finance and HR. A simple example: a new young recruit, straight out of college, presents a very different HR challenge to that of an existing long-standing employee who may be quite comfortable with the existing way they work. They have a very different expectation of what IT devices they should be able to use in the workplace and a more flexible attitude to how they balance their work and social lives.

In developing an effective device strategy, no firm can afford to ignore this as they look to differentiate themselves in the battle to attract and retain the best recruits from often small pools of specialist talent. The best BYOD or CYOD policy will take such differences into account. It will be regularly reviewed as the commercial environment evolves. It will also be flexible enough to change as the business looks to improve its competitiveness and attract and retain the best staff.

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