I’ll be the first to admit that the BYOD phenomenon is old news. But there has been plenty of buzz on the subject since Google officially announced the launch of Android for Work at Mobile World Congress this year. What it has brought to the table is an interesting thought: could Google be as disruptive as Apple was when it overtook BlackBerry in the early days of consumerization of IT.
In the past, Android has met with resistance as a workplace tool. For one thing, IT managers didn’t like it because there were so many different vendors, making it impossible to manage the devices securely unlike other platforms like iOS and BlackBerry. But Google has taken care of that concern by building Android for Work into the operating system, which means it can logically separate work and personal data on one device. So in simple terms, IT managers can take care of work data and apps round the clock from one place without touching the personal stuff.
The strongest business argument for this move is that Android accounts for 80 percent of smartphones globally and 67 percent of tablets used in the workplace. Add to that the fact that in 2012, 67 percent of tablets used in the workplace were employee owned; and 90 percent of workers used smartphones or tablets to do 25 percent of the work they once did on PCs (You can download the McKinsey & Company report here).
So Google’s logic makes sense: given most consumers in the world use Android, it’s a viable workplace tool could break new ground for them.
From our perspective this definitely puts the pressure on optimizing cellular coverage at home, the workplace and anywhere else someone happens to be using their mobile phone for work. So needless to say, our technology is ready to support whatever happens – and whoever is playing – in the changing BYOD world.
Do you think Android for Work has enough clout to make big moves in the workplace?
By Werner Sievers, CEO