The modern "what we want, we get" mindset means employees are likely to bring their own devices to work if they perceive that those offered by their employer are not up to scratch.
Despite management concerns, there are potential advantages such as increased productivity. So it looks as if consumerisation is here to stay.
Resellers have long been focused on the problems of declining hardware margins, with many looking to counter the trend with managed services offerings.
As employees' personal devices replace standardised corporate ones, IT managers face a struggle to bring network access under control, keep software updated, and manage data security issues. There are higher risks of security breaches if an employee loses or sells a device with corporate data on it.
Ensuring devices are running the latest software and maintaining compliance with corporate policy is nigh on impossible with a multitude of devices on the network.
Simply blocking the use of consumer devices may not work as unauthorised devices can be sneaked in and onto the corporate network. So it is better to manage network access constructively. But how?
The channel can help by offering managed services via the cloud to IT departments, such as hosted virtual desktops on a monthly PAYG basis, so customers do not have to develop their own cloud platform. Resellers can partner with cloud providers to achieve this.
Through such partnerships, resellers do not have to manage and maintain the physical cloud infrastructure themselves. Instead, they can concentrate on what they do best: building trusted customer relationships and adding value – perhaps by helping their customer address consumerisation problems.
This takes away the headache of managing multiple devices for IT managers, while providing an alternative to declining hardware sales for resellers.
It also produces additional benefits for IT departments. As IT staff have time freed up from dealing with reactive support tasks, they can concentrate on more strategic projects, such as improving services and applications or innovation.
Security risks are also reduced when data no longer needs to be stored on the device as everything can be wiped remotely. Software updates too can be rolled out more or less instantly, with a single update going out across a virtual desktop estate.
IT staff can scale their services up or down in line with the needs of their employer, and pay only for what they use. Expenditure on hardware can also be reduced.
Rob Lovell is chief executive of ThinkGrid
Security firm set to become part of acquisitive Shearwater Group
Distributor merges three northern sites into one new hub in Warrington
Activist investor puts forward five director candidates as turmoil continues at security giant
Nima Green asks what is driving public cloud uptake in Germany