The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend among organisations will mean a £2bn sales boon for UK service providers within five years but will "significantly disrupt" the B2B hardware channel, says the analyst firm TechMarketView.
Senior management within firms and younger employees, particularly those under 30, expect to use their own smartphones, fondleslabs and laptops in the workplace.
This poses a threat or opportunity depending on your perspective, according to Phil Codling, research director at TMV, who says BYOD will deliver "significant disruption to the supply chain in desktop and mobile hardware procurement".
The impact will be felt most as the market matures from being 'incremental' to 'substitutional', replacing the model of centrally provisioned company kit.
Clearly, retailers, especially internet-based supplier, stand to gain from BYOD; but business PC and phone channels will experience significant revenue losses, Codling says.
Manufacturers will also lose out due to the overall reduction in devices for work and personal use. Vendors with a "shrinking" consumer profile - TMV cites Nokia and RIM as examples - will be at the sharp end of this.
Demand for supporting infrastructure kit - networking and data centre - should rise but this will "by no means be enough to counteract the deflationary effects of BYOT on end user equipment," said Codling.
On the flip side, the move to BYOD is an unstoppable force, he says, and clients will need help to overcome the challenges it presents.
Cost and vulnerability auditing, user class analysis and impact modelling are strong starting points for services providers.
Suppliers must ensure they become involved in the BYOD journey from the outset, to take advantage of the ensuing security and management issues organisations will ultimately face.
"Support needs will often get more complex and challenging due to the arrival of devices and operating systems that the employer’s support processes and IT skills base were not designed for," he said.
A recent Computacenter survey of 200 IT decision makers and 1,000 Generation Z workers revealed half of organisations whose workforce is aged between 16 and 24 are more likely to cater for more than one consumer device.
But Pierre Hall, solutions director at CC, said: "IT decision makers are being swayed by their perceptions of Generation Z's needs.
"Just because they have grown up with instant messaging and hi-tech gadgets in their social life doesn’t mean they want to bring them to work. This research clearly identifies that Generation Z actually cares more about the right tools to do the job than BYOD," he said.
The more senior staffers with more disposable income want to splash out on the latest devices and it is this demographic that is "keen on integrating these into their working lives, whether it has a positive effect on their work or not." ®