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BYOD App Accepts Amazon Fire As An Enterprise Tablet

Michelle Maisto covers mobile devices, Android and Apple for eWEEK and is also a food writer.

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With enterprise BYOD programmes on the rise, Good Technology is offering a management app for Amazon’s Kindle Fire

Following the launch of a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) study, Good Technology has announced an application to help enterprises to support the Amazon Kindle Fire, a tablet that has probably already made its transition from gift boxes beneath US Christmas trees to offices around the country.

Amazon, shy about sharing exact figures, is estimated to have sold about 4.5 million Fire tablets since the device’s November arrival. Like the Kindle e-books before it, sales will multiply when Amazon releases the tablets in the UK and the rest of the world

Managing device incursions

Good offers enterprise IT tools for supporting multiplatform mobility. The company’s Good for Enterprise on the Kindle Fire app is now available in the Amazon Appstore for Android and requires a Good for Enterprise server and client access licence (CAL).

In its most recent survey of customers, Good found more than 70 percent to be supporting BYOD programmes, up from 60 percent a year ago. And for good reason – more devices than ever, approved and otherwise, are traveling through enterprise front doors. In January,  Infinite Research forecasted that the enterprise tablet market is set to increase from 13.7 million units in 2011 to 96.4 million units in 2016.

“Mobile applications are allowing enterprises to realise huge productivity gains,” Mark Ritorto, president of Infinite Research, said at the time. “The tablet has emerged as the perfect solution to give employees access to the computing tools necessary to succeed in today’s hyper-competitive business environment.”

A February ChangeWave survey found strong interest in the Apple iPad among business IT buyers. Among the companies planning to buy tablets during the second quarter, 84 percent in the survey said they now plan to buy the iPad.

However, with tablet adoption levels expected to be in-line with the historical growth rates of smartphones, according to Infinite Research, there is still plenty of room for Android-running devices.

“Our latest device activation report confirmed that the Android OS continued to be adopted and supported by the enterprise,” Hervé Danzelaud, vice president of business development for Good Technology, said in a statement, pointing to Good’s latest BYOD survey.

The survey found BYOD to be particularly popular with larger companies; 80 percent of those with more than 2,000 employees have a BYOD policy, as do 60 percent of those with more than 5,000 employees.

Security has been a primary concern with employee-owned devices – and so a primary driver of BYOD programmes. It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that the vast majority of Good customers supporting BYOD programmes are in the security-sensitive finance and insurance industries.

Among Good’s finance customers, 35 percent are currently supporting BYOD programmes, while in the next-largest industry, health care, there is currently a 10 percent buy-in. Following health care were professional services, manufacturing and transportation/logistics, respectively, with five percent of the latter category supporting BYOD.

Retail, wholesale and government were among the industries least likely to support BYOD, said Good, “at least for now”.

The company also found employees willing to pay for the convenience of using their devices of choice. In 50 percent of companies with BYOD programmes, employees cover all costs and “are happy to do so”, said Good. In another 45 percent, companies offer employees a stipend or “expense back” option to help cover the costs of the device.

“Companies that offer BYOD stipends have the highest rate of employees using mobile devices when compared to companies that require employees cover all BYOD costs themselves, or allow for expense-back of service plan costs but limit it to users with management pre-approval,” said the report.

BYOD is also gaining support globally. While nearly 49 percent of companies limit their programmes to the United States, more than 51 percent support BYOD in other countries and 45 percent support BYOD in multiple countries.

“This seems to be a time of transition, as companies are taking multiple approaches, notably with respect to their overall BYOD programme objectives, the geographic scope of those programmes, and their philosophy and approach to the ‘user pays’ model versus alternative stipend and/or expense back approaches,” Good concluded.