In a recent report, Vanson Bourne surveyed 100 UK businesses with a minimum of 500 employees (50 with 500-3000 employees and 50 with 3000+ employees), to find out just how prevalent BYOD has actually become – and to see what the driving force behind the new trend is. They then surveyed 200 US businesses (100 with 500-3000 employees and 100 with 3000+ employees) to provide a geographical comparison.
Blurred Lines: Is BYOD Changing the Way We Work?
BOYD is in Full Swing
It is no longer a case of if companies will choose to incorporate BYOD into their normal working practices, but just a matter of when. More than half the organisations surveyed already have a policy in place and the majority of those that don’t, expect to see one implemented within two years.
There are still some organisations which have a policy prohibiting BYOD, but more than 40% of respondents believe that a BYOD policy will provide them with a competitive advantage over the competition.
Push or Pull
When it comes to the driving forces behind BYOD, there has been a marked pull from employees to get management to sanction it. In contrast, the senior decision makers do not appear especially proactive; the majority are said to be either indifferent or cautiously allowing BYOD experimentation.
Expansion in the use of smart phones and tablets – and the opportunity that the Cloud offers enterprises – has made it easier for people to access their work on-the-go, and has been the organic generator for BYOD. The adoption of a policy to ratify these now widely-used practices is expected by the majority within two years.
What are you Looking At?
More and more employees are using personal devices for work-related activities. Topping the ‘to do’ list of employees on-the-go, are reading emails and using the internet for work purposes.
39% of IT decision makers also say that they believe employees are using their own devices to access publically available apps, such as Twitter and Facebook.
How Secure is BYOD?
The security risks of adopting a BYOD policy are evident and could have far reaching consequences for businesses.
The Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK has already issued guidelines to companies to help them navigate the minefield of data protection now that BYOD is so prevalent. Using encryption and secure channels to transfer data, as well as creating a data wipe facility should the device ever be lost or stolen, are just some of the techniques that can be used to minimise information leaks.
Around one in three of the organisations surveyed has an approved list of devices employees can use for BYOD, but under one in ten has a similar list of supported applications. It seems that securing the information that is being accessed has a long way to go before it catches up with the growth in the trend.
Left to Their Own Devices
Leaving employees to their own devices will create a more flexible and productive workforce and larger organisations view increased productivity as a key benefit of such a policy. Of those IT decision makers surveyed, nearly 40% say that they see it as a way of reducing operational costs and more than one fifth see it as a way of reducing staff commuting costs and time.
Geographical differences affect attitude towards BYOD
Although the majority of respondent organisations in the UK and the USA either already have a BYOD policy in place, or expect one to be implemented in the near future, attitudes to BYOD adoption are more positive in the USA. Nearly three quarters of US respondents believe that BYOD gives companies a competitive advantage, compared to just 44% in the UK.
Moreover, around 25% of those surveyed in the USA say that their organisation has an approved list of supported applications, compared to just 8% in the UK.
The full report from Vanson Bourne can be seen here. Should you be interested in discussing this research please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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