By Jan Willem Brands, General Manager Collaboration, Barco

As businesses look forward to 2015, for many, the old cliché of out with the old and in with the new will certainly ring true. It’s that time when everyone concentrates their efforts of planning the immediate and long term future, focusing on the parts of the company strategy that worked well during the previous year and rethinking any elements that were less successful. New Year resolutions will come in many forms, but one area that should be near the top of the 2015 business agenda is tackling the ever-increasing BYOD trend.

According to Forrester research, more than half of European and North American companies are already developing BYOD programs in response to employee demand. Concerns surrounding risk and security are being overcome, and the many benefits such as improved employee efficiency and increased collaboration are now being realised. The most successful BYOD strategies are giving companies a competitive advantage and make for a far happier and more productive workforce.

One area of business where the full advantages of BYOD can be utilised is in the meeting room. This is perhaps no coincidence, given that the meeting room tends to be the main hub of activity, whether it’s creative brainstorming, planning and presenting, employees come together to share their knowledge and expertise and BYOD can play a very important part in that.

The main challenge of utilising BYOD in a meeting room scenario is connecting these devices in a way that enables all participants to share information at the same time. Ironically, the answer lies in installing the correct technology. This is due to the fact that so many different people, from staff to potential customers, are using meeting rooms, the list of potential devices within these spaces is so varied. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are the tools of the trade, and, as a result, the meeting room technology must accommodate these different devices, as well as their disparate operating systems, like iOS, Android and Windows.

Not only should an iPad be able to connect to the collaboration system as easily as a Windows laptop, this should ideally be accomplished without the use of time-wasting cables and connectors. The emerging market segment for wireless collaboration technology, such as Barco ClickShare, will bring all the participants’ devices together, regardless of the operating system, to make meetings more productive and encourage collaboration among employees. It makes screen sharing a straight forward and simple process, and removes the need for any specialist tech support.

As 2014 draws to a close, businesses will be focusing on areas of investment for the future and those concentrating on BYOD will no doubt look to introduce the latest technology specifically designed and ideal for use in meeting room environments. Another business cliché is that you have to speculate to accumulate, and by implementing the right technology the vast range of benefits from utilising BYOD will be recognised both inside and outside of the company.