Enterprise Tablet Adoption Rises, but BYOD Policies Lag

Only four out of 10 IT decision makers report that their company has a formal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place.

tablet adoption and BYOD

Nearly three out of every four organizations issue corporate-owned laptops (74 percent) and smartphones (71 percent) to their workforces, indicating that smartphone use and notebook adoption is widespread in the enterprise, according to a report from research firm Frost & Sullivan.

Tablets, on the other hand, are issued by only half (47 percent) of the surveyed enterprises.These devices, however, are expected to bridge this gap over the next three years, as many of the more data-intensive mobile applications migrate over to the tablets.

While the banking, finance and insurance sector has been the most prominent user of smartphones for business purposes among the verticals surveyed in 2013, in the tablet segment, manufacturing took top honors, according to the research.

"Overall, 62 percent of the workforce is traditional, working at office locations. Mobile workers account for 22 percent and remote workers the remaining 16 percent," Karolina Olszewska, a research manager at Frost & Sullivan, said in a statement. "Although this trend is not expected to change drastically within the next three years, the number of in-office workers is expected to decrease, while remote and mobile workers are expected to increase, signifying greater opportunities for smartphone and tablet makers."

While almost 60 percent of organizations allow personal devices to be connected to the corporate network, only four out of 10 IT decision makers report that their company has a formal bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place.

"Approximately 58 percent of large enterprises have a formal BYOD policy, while only 20 percent of small businesses have a standardized policy," Olszewska said. "The most common method of enforcing BYOD policies is through network technology solutions at 67 percent, followed by mobile device management at 61 percent."

The report, The Future of Mobile Devices from a Customer Perspective—United States and Europe, also found that by 2016, the use of smartphones is expected to decrease from the current levels of 66 percent to 58 percent, while tablets are expected to increase from 49 percent to 56 percent.

While tablet adoption grows and mobility continues to exert its influence over the workplace, security remains a critical concern.

A majority of businesses (53 percent) are unprepared to deal with hacked or stolen BYOD technologies, even though half indicated company-owned tablets, notebooks and smartphones may have been hacked in last 12 months, according to a recent report from ITIC and KnowBe4.

The survey results indicated that 65 percent of businesses now allow users to BYOD and use them as corporate desktop or mobile devices to access organizational data including email, applications and sensitive data.