While employees value consumerization of IT, businesses are hesitant due to perceived risks of BYOD programs.
While bring-your-own-device programs continue to grow and find favor among businesses of all sizes, issues like security still remain, according to a survey by Mimecast, a supplier of cloud-based email archiving, continuity and security for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365.
The survey of 500 IT professionals and administrators suggests BYOD programs are still a hotly debated enterprise issue and showed 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 the BYOD phenomenon 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 disconnectwhile employees value consumerization of IT, businesses are hesitant due to perceived risks. Half (50.7 percent) of the same set of IT professionals surveyed said 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 ensure corporate data remains secure."
The IT professionals that participated in this survey also said which personal devices they currently own, with Apple and Google Android devices leading the pack. Although more than 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.
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. These results suggest an organization's mobile strategy 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.
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, the report concluded. Additionally, the results underline a need for businesses to develop a platform-agnostic device strategy that ensures corporate data remains secure.
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.