IHS: BYOD trend spreading to the factory floor

The bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon reshaping information technology (IT) in business offices is now spreading to the manufacturing sector, with employee-owned smartphones and tablets playing an increasingly important role in manufacturing settings for 2014 and even beyond, according to latest findings from research company IHS. Rising numbers of manufacturing workers are utilising their own smartphones and tablets to monitor and control industrial equipment. Such smartphones and tablets can allow users to manage equipment remotely, observing processes while employees are on the move or while they are working in another part of the factory. IHS observed that individuals are driving the BYOD for now, but said companies are likely to accommodate this phenomenon in the future by provisioning employees with ruggedised devices tailored to the rigors of the factory floor. In many cases, such devices are augmenting the functions of industrial PCs. The global industrial PC market is expected to generate shipments of 4.1 million units in 2016, up from 2.5 million in 2012, as presented in the attached figure. Report