Bring Your Own Device - Overview

Employees using their own mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops are able to use the technology they’re most comfortable with - which has a positive impact on productivity. But as anyone in IT can tell you, this has risks. To address these risks, some organizations are creating  Bring Your Own Device policies that establish guidelines for proper use.

Last month, Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice, launched a survey so that he could get a pulse on what companies are doing to manage employee-owned mobile devices. Kyle’s has shared a few highlights with 2X MDM here and you can find the full report of his findings on his Blog.

Bring Your Own Device Fact: Employees are Already Using their Own Devices for Work

The question many business top line business executives are asking their HR partners is: “Do we need a formal policy for managing mobile devices?” This is not an easy question to address, as it requires a perspective on what employees are doing with their mobile devices. To that end, we asked a couple of questions around usage of mobile devices in the workplace.

[caption id="attachment_1940" align="aligncenter" width="500"]bring your own device Figure 1: Ownership of Mobile Devices Employees Use for Work Related Purposes[/caption]

The most important question when discussing Bring Your Own Device, of course, is whether or not people are even using their personal devices for work related purposes. As shown in Figure 1, the majority of employees (77%) are using their own mobile devices to some extent - either exclusively or in addition to company-issued devices. Of course, “work-related purposes” could be something as simple as checking their email. So we wanted to gauge what else they’re doing.

[caption id="attachment_1941" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Figure 2: Employees' Use of Mobile Devices[/caption]

According to the survey, employees are using mobile devices at a roughly equivalent frequency for personal and business use. As shown in Figure 2, 67% of employees are using devices for business correspondence (email, phone calls, etc.), and 44% are using their device - company owned or not - for professional networking.

Whenever employees are using mobile devices to access company data (48%), one would think a policy with guidelines for proper use is a must. However, another survey question revealed that only 30% of the respondents’ companies had a policy for managing personal mobile devices in place. Is there a disconnect here? The survey shows there definitely is.

Will Bring Your Own Device  Become a Higher Priority in Businesses?

Considering the majority of employees are already using personal devices for work related purposes, we were surprised that only 12% of organizations without a Bring Your Own Device  policy plan to adopt one in the near future (half of those are currently developing policies). 30% of participants without BYOD policies said that creating a mobile device management Bring Your Own Device  policy wasn't a priority. 33% plan to modify their plans for managing personal mobile devices in 2012.

Security risks associated with Bring Your Own Device  policies continue to intimidate some. One respondent said he is “scared to death of security vulnerabilities” but realises the risks of not adopting one. Are organizations better served by addressing mobile device management issues as they arise? Or should company CEO's plan on a strong mobile device policy? We recommend signing up to the free 2X MDM service, which will give you peace of mind

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