BYOD Changing Attitudes to Mobile IT: MobileIron

To fully realize the benefits of mobility and to mitigate potential risks, enterprise IT will be required to make significant changes, the report said.

While mobile IT developments and bring your own device (BYOD) adoption offer huge potential to improve workforce productivity, it also introduces significant new challenges for enterprise IT departments, according to a survey from WiFi network and services firm iPass and mobile device management firm MobileIron.

More than half (56 percent) of the 477 enterprises surveyed said they changed their corporate guidelines within the past year to be more accommodating of employees’ personal devices, while 81 percent of companies state they now accommodate personal devices in the office and 54 percent of organizations said they have formalized BYOD policies.

Smartphones and 3G data plans were singled out as the main reasons for rising data costs, with 57 percent of survey respondents believing their mobile data costs will increase in the next year, and 8 percent saying they’ll rise more than 25 percent. Security is also a major issue, with 55 percent of the companies surveyed reporting some form of security issue over the past year, mostly in conjunction with lost or stolen phones. However, other IT management issues actually surpassed security in importance, the survey found.

"BYOD appeals to employees but, even if IT appreciates the productivity benefits, BYOD has made their job more difficult. IT managers’ top complaints relate to onboarding and supporting personal devices," the report said. "Respondents said their two biggest sources of frustration stemmed from these scenarios. The fact that onboarding and supporting personal devices beat out even security concerns may suggest the significance of the burden IT feels from BYOD."

In 2012, Apple’s iPhone passed Research in Motion's (RIM's) BlackBerry to become the most popular smartphone in terms of corporate IT support. RIM, which recently changed its name to BlackBerry and launched an updated version of its operating system in the hopes of reversing a sharp decline in market share, still faces an uphill battle, the report suggested. Only 34 percent of IT managers plan to support BlackBerry 10, compared to 45 percent who plan to support Windows Phone 8 devices going forward.

"The forward-looking responses hint at Android’s continued rise and greater enterprise acceptance for Windows mobile devices. Only 2 percent of IT managers plan to start supporting BlackBerry devices in 2013, suggesting a loss of interest in the brand," the report stated. "In comparison, 13 percent of IT managers plan to start supporting Android phones in the coming year. Android and the iPhone, which 11 percent of enterprises will newly adopt in 2013, clearly have more positive IT momentum than BlackBerry."

Like the iPhone, Google Android-based phones have shown tremendous growth since the last survey, rising to 61 percent from 48 percent of the enterprise. Android is now a close third behind BlackBerry and is set to outpace it to claim the number two spot by next year. When it comes to tablets, however, Apple's iPad still dominates with support from 73 percent of companies. Android-based tablets were the second-most popular (44 percent) and Windows 8 tablets, such as the Microsoft Surface, are a distant third with 16 percent, according to the survey.