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SAP Labs opens itself to ‘Bring Your Own Devices’

Photo: An engineer uses his own tablet at SAP Labs in Bangalore ( Photo SAP)

Earlier this month, we had reported the findings of studies that suggested that India was the dark horse and global leader in the hot new trend of BYOD or Bring Your Own Device -- where employees are allowed -- and even encouraged -- to bring personally-owned devices to work place and use them to access company resources like email, file servers, and databases.  At least one global technology leader in India – SAPLabs -- is practicing what every one seems to be preaching… and making BYOD a reality for its employees. We bring you this special report on the SAP Labs practice of BYOD in India. Let’s hope the trend catches on! 

At the forefront of internal enterprise mobility, SAP Labs India has opened its network, allowing employees to bring their own devices to work. The end of April witnessed employees bringing their own personal mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) for business purposes as part of the newly launched ‘Bring Your Own Device’ program. The organization is also on the in the process of reviewing the usage of other devices such as Android and Windows Mobiles. Speaking on the newly implemented B.Y.O.D policy,  Raghavendra Rao Vice President, IT, SAP Labs, Bangalore said “With the consumerization of IT, there are   multiple devices that employees can choose to use. This policy is to allow our employees to use the devices of their choice rather than being compelled to use standard official devices.”
Corporates are increasingly opening themselves to the Bring Your Own Device policy, allowing employees, flexibility and a multitude of choices of devices they can choose from. A recent survey revealed that 69% of the surveyed employees are concerned about the security of data transmitted over personal smart devices. The same survey also revealed that 38% of the surveyed employees said that the use of smart devices was pervasive in their enterprises.
While most of the devices in organisations go unmonitored by the IT department, concerns range from the adequate security measures to control the free use of private organisational data to overstepping the line in the privacy of the employees. “While security concerns cannot be overlooked, solutions like SAP’s Afaria mobile device management helps in most complex mobile application management, mobile security, and mobile device management situations.’ said Rao.
On the plus side, employing a B.Y.O.D policy helps attracting next generation decision makers who view the use of personal devices at workplace as a right rather than a perk.
Employees at SAP Labs are happy with the B.Y.O.D policy roll out and feel it is very appropriate. Speaking on the flexibility of using his own device, Sunil Prabhakaran, Principal Software Engineer at SAP Labs said “As techies we love adopting new technologies. The BYOD policy allows us the liberty to use the devices of our choice as well as adapt with the newer emerging technologies in the market.”
“The entry of self-advocated devices into the workplace has been set into motion and it is only a matter of time before security measures are set in such a manner that employees have the freedom to use and operate any device of their choice in the organization.” Raghavendra Rao  says.
What is clear is that IT departments can no longer ensure improved employee productivity by providing standardized corporate-owned devices.
June 23 2012