The bring your own device trend has created new opportunities for businesses looking to increase productivity from mobile employees and remote offices, but security remains a top concern for IT departments in the enterprise, according to a report from IT research firm Gartner, which found 86 percent of enterprise respondents are planning to purchase media tablets like an Apple iPad this year.
According to the survey, the security top issues included the use of privately owned devices and deployment of new enterprise mobile platforms. Gartner recommended focusing on mobile data protection (MDP), network access control (NAC), and mobile device management (MDM) tools. Survey results also indicate enterprises are providing support for BYOD programs, offering technical support for 32 percent of smartphones, 37 percent of tablets and 44 percent of laptops. However, the report noted that support varied greatly by region.
"Healthy growth in smartphone and media tablet shipments over the next five years will enable a much higher level of IT consumerization than is currently possible," Chae-Gi Lee, research director at Gartner, said in a prepared statement. "Enterprises should recognize this and look to 'mobile enable' their IT infrastructure for employees to meet the growing demand for mobile device use in the enterprise IT environment."
The survey, conducted from October to November 2011, centered on the deployment status of, and plans for mobile device adoption, BYOD policy and investment in data centers and adopting technology drivers, including hosted virtual desktop (HVD) for enterprise mobility. Survey respondents came from organizations with 500 or more employees and an in-house data center in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and Japan.
"Mature countries consider BYOD programs as bringing with them both legal and technical issues, whereas emerging countries only see technical issues. For instance, mature regions are more concerned with security and data privacy regulations for immature MDM than emerging regions, Lee continued. "In BRIC countries, employee turnover can be high in some sectors, leading to more theft of devices and data. BYOD and virtualization can reduce those enterprise losses."
Investments in data center modernization were stronger in non-BRIC countries, according to the report, because non-BRIC countries are more interested in security and privacy regulation than BRIC countries. However, HVD adoption is slightly higher in BRIC countries, where 22 percent of respondents indicated they had already deployed HVDs, against 20 percent in non-BRIC countries. Overall, Gartner analysts found BYOD demand was higher in the BRIC countries overall, and suggested enterprises, regardless of region, create a BYOD policy for balancing cost control and reimbursement, as well as tackling security concerns.