Lack of control and security worries holding back support
IT departments at businesses across the UK are still cautious about supporting personal devices at work, due to worries about control and security, new research has revealed.
The popularity of devices such as Apple’s iPhone and Android devices mean employees no longer want to have two devices; they would much rather just use their own, according to a survey of 100 UK-based businesses with more than 3,000 employees carried out by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Good Technology.
More than half (56%) of the IT managers quizzed claim to be under pressure to support personal devices at work, but just 10% do so in a comprehensive way. Security (36%) and lack of control over devices (32%) are the main reasons IT departments have yet to begin supporting personal devices in a big way.
The certainly see the benefits, such as reduced costs, increased productivity and employee satisfaction, and over 70% said they would allow personal devices to be used in the workplace if there were no security risks.
Twenty seven percent of respondents said they had suffered a security breach due to an unauthorised devices being brought into the work place.
"With so many great options on the market, more and more people want to consolidate their work and personal devices, but the majority of UK businesses don’t currently feel equipped to support these requests in a secure way," said Andrew Jacques, VP and GM for EMEA, Good Technology.
"The mobile landscape has changed dramatically in the past few years – with the advent of new platforms like iOS and Android, the mobile app phenomenon taking over consumer consciousness, and new form factors like tablets successfully being introduced," he continued. "IT departments have a lot on their hands and are trying to react as quickly as they can."
The consumerisation of IT – allowing personal devices to be used in the work environment – has been a hot topic in the tech industry recently. In December last year, CBR reported that Bob Tarzey, analyst at Quocirca, warned enterprises that embracing the use of personal devices was the best way of controlling it.
"You can’t ban the use of personal devices at work," he said. "People will use personal devices whether or not you ban them. If you try and control what employees can do at work they are more likely to use personal devices they bring in. Unless you confiscate them at the door, you can’t stop it."
"What you can do is control what access they have to corporate resources on their personal device," Tarzey added. "By embracing it and accepting it you can bring some control over what employees can do."