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Whether it’s the fact that global smart phone sales continue to grow, or that more than half of Europe’s workforce will be working remotely by 2013 (IDC estimates), consumerisation is now at or near the top of every corporate agenda.

Yet there is a problem here in looking to develop a response which works for both the individual employee and the business. With technologies evolving at mind-boggling speed and the consumer’s/employee’s almost insatiable appetite to acquire the latest and whizziest device, the enterprise is struggling to develop a response which will meet both the needs of both today and tomorrow’s workplace.

This demands a future proof-strategy based on a hard-headed assessment of four key elements of communications management. First, there must be a full needs assessment, understanding the mobility requirements of the workforce and what individual and groups of employees require from communications technologies.

Second, the enterprise needs to determine the right mix of corporate-owned and individually-owned devices, based on each user’s mission-critical needs and associated business, service and support requirements. By increasing the proportion of corporate-owned devices, for example, it is possible to adopt tailored best practice telecoms expense management tools which will provide employees with the flexibility they are looking for with the visibility and control essential to the business.

Irrespective of who owns the device, device management solutions will be necessary to protect the integrity and privacy of corporate data and to develop HR and security policies which can flex with the changing demands of the business and regulatory compliance.

Finally, few business have the resource or capability to manage all this effectively in-house. It will be important in such situations therefore to engage with a third-party communication provider who can deliver a range of tailored support across the multi-national footprint of the enterprise, from partially managed support to full mobility outsourcing.

Consumerisation is part of today’s technology agenda which cannot be ignored. The key to any effective response is to harness and realise the benefits of this wave of change, at the same time controlling costs and protecting corporate data and reputation. A tough ask, but it can be done.

For more information, download the BYOD white paper, ‘Bring your own device: a considered approach’.