According to IDC Canada, seven in 10 Canadians say the BYOD (for "bring your own device") trend has arrived in their work- places. That means a growing number of people are using their own smartphones or laptops instead of relying on corporate-issued equipment. How many? IDC analyst Krista Napier says 16% of those surveyed were using their own devices—a figure expected to jump to 22% by next year. The problem, she adds, is that most businesses have few systems in place to manage and support their employees' gear. And with two-thirds of companies allowing staff to access corporate email from their own devices, the security implications are huge.
Enter the emerging "MDM" sector—mobile device management. While most players are tech multinationals, smaller out- fits are entering the field. SOTI, a 200-person, Toronto-area company, for one, has developed a back-end system for managing employees' devices. Strategic alliances director Balhar Dosangh points out that IT staff, especially in smaller firms, now spend a lot of time configuring and securing employees' gear for work-related applications. As the BYOD trend gathers momentum, MDM specialists will be well positioned to impose a bit of tech order on all that personalized digital diversity.