Millennial Workers Demand BYOD Flexibility

There isn't a segment of the workforce more eager and enthused about the bring-your-own-device movement than Generation Y. Employees aged 33 and below have literally been raised alongside the development of the digital revolution, and their demands have been made loud and clear across every corner of the public and private sectors. While BYOD may have already made an appearance in your IT blueprint, are you delivering the availability, security and support that millennial end users expect? It may be time to revamp your mobility strategies for the most demanding generation yet.

The mobile take over

Just how far has the BYOD movement come since employees first began using their own hardware in the workplace? According to a recent article from Occupational Health and Safety, the majority of today's staff members believe they should have total freedom in what devices they're allowed to use to access work-related data and apps. The source pointed to "The Top Trends in Mobile Learning for 2014," a report from revealing that 66 percent of respondents expect their employers to have a BYOD policy in place and allow remote access.

Leading the way in this contingent, of course, is Generation Y, whose members place an increasing amount of importance on the level of technological flexibility their potential employers bring to the table. The source noted Association for Talent Development research found that 79 percent of these young workers believe that strategies such as BYOD and teleworking are a positive force for their personal lives, careers and organizations at large.

"Millennials are fast becoming the largest group of employees at companies large and small." Huffington Post reporter Chris Komisarjevsky told the news provider. "These adults have grown up in the digital era. It defines them and they, in turn, have significant influence on those around them, whether from home, the workplace or the treadmill."

IT expectations

In light of these findings, it seems like implementing a BYOD strategy is a no-brainer. However, determining the policies, technology and support requirements underlying a successful deployment is a much more involved process than it may appear. That's why it may be time to consider what infrastructure elements are in need of modernization as you map out your mobile aspirations. After all, your organization's remote access and BYOD strategies will only be as strong as the network, computing and storage components that underpin the delivery of critical applications and information.

As far as practical solutions go, virtual desktop infrastructure deployments have grown into one of the most widely adopted strategies supporting mobility in government agencies, according to Federal Times. Virtualization was highlighted in the White House's BYOD Toolkit released two years ago, along with containerization and limited separation approaches. Since no information is stored on a user device with VDI, this method drastically reduces risk.

"We are starting to see discussions of how to implement virtualization so that instead of just a container, the entire functionality of the phone pops up as a virtual interface on the phone," said Maria Horton, a former CIO for the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to the source.

On the horizon

Federal Times noted that even with the saturation of virtual desktop solutions and other data center optimization techniques, there's still much to be done in the way of mobile mastery at the federal level.

"BYOD is not going away. It's only going to increase in government," David Britton, vice president of industry solutions with 41st Parameter, told the source.

Since the millennial demographic is quickly saturating workplaces everywhere, it's important that you prepare for this monumental sea change of BYOD and remote access.