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Survey looks into bring your own device trends

Banning employees’ mobile devices creates more risks than allowing supported use does.

Mimecast has released the findings from a survey of 500 IT professionals and administrators from the 2012 DevConnections conference held in Las Vegas. The survey highlights that bring your own device (BYOD) is still a hotly debated enterprise issue and unveiled a divide between employees and the business. While 47 percent of respondents find consumerization of IT important to highly important to the enterprise, when asked about the risk BYOD is perceived to bring to the enterprise, 21 percent said BYOD has been a risk to the business, with a separate 26 percent admitting their business does not allow employees to use their own device for corporate tasks.

These results shows a significant disconnect: while employees value consumerization of IT, businesses are hesitant due to perceived risks. Half (50.7 percent) of the same set of IT professionals surveyed called out that employee access to personal devices was a productivity necessity, while only 7.9 percent said personal devices were detrimental to productivity. Meanwhile, 74 percent of the respondents emphasized that the enterprise's biggest mobile challenge was managing information security.

"Employee support for consumerization of IT is in full swing, whether business leaders are ready to admit it or not," said Orlando Scott-Cowley, senior product marketing manager of Mimecast. "These results show a massive divide between employee sentiment and what the enterprise is actually willing to support when it comes to personal devices. It's time enterprises fully enable their employees' productivity by not only supporting the range of mobile and tablet devices, but also providing the solutions that ensures corporate data remains secure."

The IT professionals that participated in this survey also named the specific personal devices they currently own, with Apple and Android devices leading the pack. Although over half (56.3 percent) of the respondents indicated they were working on a Windows PC, 87.3 percent own a device running off the Apple operating system, with 44.5 percent owning an iPhone and 42.8 percent owning an iPad. Android mobile and tablet ownership followed, with 51.3 percent ownership, and Windows and Blackberry devices followed, with 26 percent and 19.2 percent ownership, respectively.

It's clear that organizations that choose to support their employees' personal devices within a secure environment will measurably increase their business productivity as well as extend their employees' flexibility. Additionally, the results underline a need for businesses to develop a platform agnostic device strategy that ensures corporate data remains secure.

Some key recommendations from these findings are as follows:

  • Provide comprehensive support: Employees will workaround corporate IT infrastructure in order to be productive and find ways to leverage their personal devices, regardless of if they're supported by the business or not. Supporting as many computing platforms as possible will ensure employees are accessing and sharing business data within a secure environment approved by the organization.
  • Focus on data: Seventy-one percent of those surveyed identified their role as a data custodian or someone responsible for locating content and establishing context that is aligned with associated business rules. An organization's mobile strategy therefore needs to not only enable IT professionals to effectively manage the volume of data, but also provide the solutions that allow employees to securely access and leverage data as a business asset.
  • Enable productivity: Identify the business applications employees rely on (such as the organization's email or social collaboration tools) and provide mobile and tablet support for these applications to ensure employees can remain productive.


•Date: 27th April 2012 • US/World •Type: Article • Topic: ISM

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