Formulating a bring-your-own-device strategy for higher education institutions in Gauteng
Erasmus, Jan Hendrik
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Technology intended for the consumer market has grown exponentially in recent years. Much of the growth can possibly be attributed to the competition created by the companies that develop these technologies for consumers in an attempt to retain and expand their markets. As a result organisations and specifically higher education institutions experience what is popularly referred to as the BYOD phenomenon that originated from what is known as the consumerisation of IT. Various terms and definitions have emerged in recent years to depict the trends and challenges that industry in general currently experience and have to deal with to remain operationally sound and competitive. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect IT consumerism and BYOD has on higher education IT departments, and whether IT and institutional leadership should join forces from a strategic approach to align IT strategy with institutional strategic goals and objectives. History has shown that technology constantly evolve and does not stop or reverse its effects, thus indicating that the trends might change but the disruptions caused cannot be reverted back to solutions of past. The initial assumption that sparked interest to conduct the study on the BYOD phenomenon was that higher education institutions tend to have a favourable disposition towards the acceptance and adoption of new technology trends. Especially, technologies that can be utilised towards improving and facilitating teaching and learning. Therefore it was decided to study responses from two prominent higher education institutions in Gauteng, South Africa. Exploratory research found that institutional employees already use their mobile personal devices to complement their work activities. Employees have certain expectations for bringing and using their own devices; these expectations are currently being managed haphazardly by the institutional IT departments. Strategic intervention was thus required to accommodate the current and future technology trends that might have an impact on institutional strategic objectives and goals. Recommendations and guidelines towards the development of a strategic framework for strategy formulation were discussed as well as possible alternatives to BYOD, depending on institutional culture and leadership factors.