Although IT executives and consumers indicate support for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) initiatives and the work-life balance benefits they typically enable, a study by Samsung Electronics subsidiary Samsung Telecommunications America highlights key synergies as well as critical gaps between IT executives and their employees that will need to be addressed as BYOD becomes the norm within the next two years.
The study, executed by IDG Research Services, found 85 percent of companies support BYOD today, and more than 70 percent of IT executives surveyed believe companies without a BYOD strategy will be at a competitive disadvantage. Moreover, 81 percent of IT decision-makers and 78 percent of employees said they believe that having a single mobile device helps balance employees' work and personal lives.
However, the issue of security was the most significant concern of both consumers and IT executives. The majority of IT executives (84 percent) and employees (74 percent) alike identified the issue of device security as the most important factor influencing future BYOD policies such as preapproved device lists.
While nearly half (49 percent) of consumers surveyed believe that the mobile device will become the primary computing device for work-related activities within the next five years, achieving this level of mobile productivity may depend on whether or not hardware and software providers can address security concerns.
The gap between IT decision-maker and employee outlooks on device priorities and preferences underscores a "disconnect" between what IT executives need to achieve business goals and what employees need to do their jobs. The study indicated the largest difference in opinion exists between the two groups on access to company productivity solutions and resources such as customer relationship management (CRM) applications.
Nearly half (49 percent) of IT executives stated this product access was a top priority, while just 28 percent of employees agreed with that view. For 43 percent of the employees surveyed, the top priority is the ability to share large files compared with just 23 percent of IT executives.
A December report from business software products and services provider Globo found IT departments are not making employees aware of their BYOD policies. The survey found 14 percent of respondents do not know if their company currently has a BYOD policy and 91 percent responded that they do not know if their company plans to implement a BYOD policy.
The report also indicated if IT clearly stated that they have access to their employee's personal information such as emails and contacts, 93 percent of respondents would not participate in a BYOD program, and 69 percent said that they would not consider breaking a company policy in regards to BYOD even if they knew that they would not get caught.