Personally Owned Devices a Growing Presence at Work

Of the 75 percent who chose to use their own device at work, almost half said they are doing so without their employers' knowledge, Gartner found.

mobility and BYOD

Approximately 40 percent of U.S. consumers who work for large enterprises said they use their personally owned smartphone, desktop or laptop daily for some form of work purposes, according to a survey by IT research firm Gartner.

The survey studied the use of devices by consumers, whether as a primary or supplemental business device.

The most popular personally owned device used at least casually for work was a desktop computer at 42 percent, closely followed by a smartphone at 40 percent, a laptop at 36 percent and a tablet at 26 percent.

Only one-quarter of employees who use their own device are required to by their employer. Of the remaining 75 percent who chose to use their own device, almost half said that they are doing so without their employers' knowledge.

Chris Silva, an analyst with Gartner, told eWEEK that for businesses with employees using devices at work, they should create governance that clearly specifies what data and systems require specific protections allow organizations to put proactive tools in place to thwart unnecessary data leakage by anticipating how users may interact with a given tool or data source outside the boundaries of corporate computing.

"Benefits of increased access such as worker productivity and business continuity can directly benefit from increased access for employees from personally owned devices, but specific controls like mobile device management and secure access portals for remote access from the desktop must be in place to limit the data leakage downside to these programs," he explained.

When asked how all consumers use their devices at work and play--not including email, sending and receiving texts or general Web searches--consumers provided some interesting answers, particularly for tablets.

Respondents listed playing games as the top way they used their tablets, followed by social media and checking news and weather.

The importance of games on tablets aligns with the comparatively low usage of tablets for work purposes, according to the report.

The survey also found that online banking and completing an online purchase transaction are in the top three activities done on a desktop and laptop — activities that require keyboarding and concentration.

Quick checks of news, weather, maps, directions and social media, along with "snacking" on gaming, are done on the smaller mobile devices. Video entertainment topped the smart TV list but listening to music on smart TVs was something of a surprise at third, especially as it is further down the list for a smartphone, which came in fifth.

"In the mobile device space, specifically smartphones, our CIO survey data shows IT leadership expecting a greater number of BYO smartphones in the enterprise than corporate-owned devices starting in 2017 and growing from there," Silva said. "In terms of preparing to support this trend, determining the data protections certain assets may require, the limits to policies and ways mobile device management can be implemented on users’ personal devices, with the input of legal and HR, and region-specific legal issues around user privacy and financial implications of user-provided devices and service are key elements to create a BYO policy."