Some 25 percent of companies are already supporting the use of mobile devices in the workplace.
Small and midsize businesses
are coming under growing pressure to enable their employees to use their
personal smartphones, tablets and other devices for business use, according to the
findings of a new study announced by Citrix.
Some 25 percent of companies
polled are already supporting the use of such devices in the workplace, and
many are benefitting from a significant increase of 30 percent in productivity,
as their employees are able to work anywhere, anytime from any device. However,
62 percent of businesses surveyed have no controls in place to manage these
devices, and 45 percent of IT managers are unaware of all the devices being
used, raising questions regarding security and privacy.
"The nature of work
continues to change," said Brett Caine, senior vice president and general
manager of Citrix. "The survey shows that employees are using new consumer
devices in the workplace for both business and personal use. Organizations need
to respond to this trend by developing policies to address new mobile work
styles that can drive productivity through more flexible working, while
safeguarding the use of data and sensitive information."
Over the past few years,
businesses globally have come under significant commercial, regulatory and
environmental pressure to enable greater workforce mobility. With this demand,
57 percent of IT managers are most concerned over the security implications of
employees using personal devices for business. However, as indicated by the
survey, more than half of business executives and IT managers are unaware of
all personal devices used for business purposes and lack an employee personal
Although many businesses
lack a policy for managing employee's personal devices for work, 38 percent of
businesses globally do have a process or tool to manage and account for
consumer devices. These organizations are encouraging flexible work and a
personal device policy supported by the adoption of online support and
monitoring tools that include the highest levels of security. Businesses
that are quick to adapt to these changes are experiencing significant improvements
in productivity when personal devices are also used for business purposes.
Productivity has increased up to 20 percent for many organizations with a
further 17 percent confirming even greater gains.
In addition to the
proliferation of personal devices used for work, businesses are also feeling
pressure to adopt more flexible work practices that promote better work-life
balance for employees. According to this Citrix survey, 35 percent of the
participants say they are under greater pressure than they were five years ago
to offer more flexibility for employees.
"The growth of mobile
devices, bridging both personal and work use, represents new opportunities for
IT support. The edge of the company network is extended while software ubiquity
and complexity rapidly increases," said Elizabeth Cholawsky, vice president and
general manager of IT services for Citrix. "Enabling support, [and] monitoring
and managing remote and mobile workers is now a de facto requirement for IT to
ensure highly productive and effective businesses."
The Citrix survey was
undertaken to understand the global use and management of personal
communications devices in the workplace to support the growing demands for
workforce flexibility. Conducted by YouGov and Research Now between May 2011
and August 2011, the study is based on a survey of more than 1,100 senior
executives and IT managers across Australia, France, Germany, the United
Kingdom and the United States.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.