A Dell KACE survey found the majority of employees are using personal devices to log in to corporate systems but IT managers don't have the tools to manage them.
IT executives are struggling
to protect corporate data and intellectual property as more employees use their
personal devices to check work email, read documents and log in to enterprise
systems, according to a recent study.
Of the 750 IT professionals
who took part in the Dell KACE-sponsored survey, 87 percent of the respondents
said their company allowed employees to use personal devices to access corporate
applications, according to the report released Sept. 13. About 80 percent said
employees used personal smartphones and 69 percent said employees brought personal
laptops to work.
In addition, 87 percent of
respondents felt their companies were unable to effectively protect corporate
resources and data being accessed or stored on those devices, the survey found.
In fact, 62 percent believed the companies they worked for were not adequately
prepared to deal with personal devices flooding the workplace.
In case anyone was wondering
whether employees were using personal devices for work purposes, the report
laid that question definitely to rest.
"Consumerization of IT
is not simply a passing trend; it is the way business will be conducted on an
ongoing basis," said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for
Dimensional Research and the study's author.
Email was the most common
business task that employees performed on personal devices. Other activities
included checking the calendar, making phone calls, sending text messages,
accessing social media applications and logging in to enterprise applications,
CRM software and ERP systems.
Consumer products are
evolving into viable business tools to support a more mobile, efficient and
connected workforce, according to Hagglund.
While employees are being
productive even while away from their desks, IT staffs are scrambling to
identify all devices working within a corporate network to ensure that
sensitive data remains secure, Hagglund wrote, noting that a majority of the
businesses did not have a set of standard practices to make sure everything
runs smooth and secure.
It was "critical"
that companies put policies and standards into place to support devices to
ensure corporate security, according to Hagglund. The report found that only 18
percent said there were plans to put a policy in place and 13 percent indicated
there were no plans to implement such a policy.
The professionals surveyed
recognized that this was a problem, as 88 percent said it was
"important" for IT to support consumer devices within the
organization. However, only 17 percent were supporting all devices, 19 percent
had a limited list of what they supported and 33 percent didn't support any
personal devices, the survey found.
Two-thirds of the
respondents believed that personal devices posed a security risk. About 62 percent
were specifically concerned about network security breaches and 43 percent
worried about not meeting compliance requirements. About 50 percent expressed
concern about loss of customer data because of misplaced devices and 48 percent
worried about potential theft of intellectual property. Nearly 64 percent
reported not feeling confident that they knew about all the applications and
devices connecting to the network.
Of all the different devices
employees use-smartphones, laptops and tablets-the report found that the Apple
iPhone is the most commonly used device for workers, with about 72 percent of
staffers using one.
After that, about 63 percent
of workers use an Android-based smartphone, while 63 percent use a
Windows-based PC, 60 percent use an iPad tablet and 52 percent use a BlackBerry
The use of personal devices
in the workplace has affected other IT decisions, such as what operating
systems would be supported, the survey found. Nearly 60 percent of respondents
said the popularity of the Apple iPad and iPhone has resulted in employees
demanding support for Mac OS X. Similarly, 59 percent said their IT teams have
started supporting more operating systems because employees were using personal
laptops running nonsupported operating systems.
"The results of our
latest survey represent a significant shift in how systems administrators
manage their organization's networks in today's disparate global work
force," said Rob Meinhardt, general manager and co-founder of Dell KACE.