Businesses Still Lacking in BYOD Management

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said either no official BYOD policy exists at their organizations or nothing at all has been expressed about BYOD.

BYOD and IT management

Exposure to risk from bring-your-own-device programs is as much of a threat today as it was in 2013, however, organizations have become less diligent in BYOD management and mitigation, according to a survey of more than 300 IT professionals in North America conducted by TEKsystems.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents (64 percent) state that either no official BYOD policy exists at their organizations and/or nothing at all has been communicated about BYOD.

This has increased by 21 percent from 2013, when 43 percent identified the same lack of guidelines and best practices.

In addition, 72 percent of IT professionals believe that sensitive company data is at risk due to employees accessing information from personal devices, only a 1 percent drop from what was reported in the company’s 2013 BYOD study.

"It was somewhat surprising to see that the percentage of IT professional who stated that either no official BYOD policy exists at their organizations and/or nothing at all has been communicated about BYOD has risen from 43 percent in 2013 to 64 percent in 2014," Jason Hayman, TEKsystems market research manager, told eWEEK. "While it certainly continues to be an area of concern, one of the reasons we suspect why there’s been a lessening of management is that the influx of devices is continuing to grow–and the amount of management required is very hard to justify–at least until a major issue surfaces to make it high priority once more."

Hayman said many organizations are probably not going through full risk analysis of their exposure points due to BYOD–and as such–don’t have a hard figure that will allow them to continue to put forth the required management effort.

The study also indicated that, despite the fact that mobile devices provide IT professionals with greater flexibility, they also heighten stress and extend the workday.

Almost two-thirds (61 percent) of all respondents disclose that if they had their choice, they would prefer to work in yesterday’s world where they would be inaccessible outside of business hours.

Meanwhile, half of respondents said the ability to access work (such as applications, documents, email) through a mobile device has increased stress because they are never able to disconnect. Only 28 percent feel it lessens stress and 22 percent report it has no impact on stress.

Although smart devices are gaining traction as the favored communication method, when it comes to core work activities, the laptop is still the preferred device, with 61 percent of respondents saying that if they had to pick only one device to access work after-hours for the period of one week, they would choose their laptop.

"While email is a perfect example of an application ready-made for smartphone or tablet use and makes workers more productive and efficient, at the end of the day they still need a laptop to get their bulk of their work done," Hayman said. "A smartphone can’t replace a laptop when it comes to a programmer writing code."

In addition, IT professionals reported that the time they spend working on various devices during a typical business day (laptop 67 percent, smartphone 25 percent, tablet 8 percent) is nearly identical to the time spent working on those devices after-hours (laptop 61 percent, smartphone 31 percent, tablet 8 percent).