More than 6 out of 10 companies (64 percent) allow employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) into the workplace, with the majority of these citing improved productivity as the main driver, according to a new survey.
For 58 percent of these companies, they allow a mix of corporate-liable and individual-liable devices. A full third of companies still strictly mandate which devices can be used for work purposes and do not allow any type of employee-provided device. For another 8 percent of firms, employees provide everything, according to CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study.
Seth Robinson, director of technology analysis at CompTIA, a not-for-profit trade association, wrote in a blog post that choosing a corporate-wide device strategy is simply the first step in a very long process.
“As employees bring their own device, they also want to bring their own applications and services. As a result, the field of mobile device management (MDM) is rapidly shifting to include mobile application management (MAM). Additionally, with Forrester reporting that 66 percent of employees use two or more devices at work, integration is becoming critical in order to provide a consistent user experience. Companies are pursuing a range of solutions, including exploring and implementing virtual desktops (49 percent), building custom mobile apps for business systems (29 percent) and moving business applications to a cloud model that can be accessed through a browser (28 percent),” he wrote.
The CompTIA survey found that for companies that provide at least some devices to employees, the top two reasons are to standardize and consolidate IT support, cited by 39 percent of firms; and because it is more cost effective to provide devices rather than a stipend (31 percent).
While cost and standardization are no doubt vital to the enterprise, so is security -- especially the safety of company data. This is where enterprise mobility and BYOD still have a ways to go.
“As firms become more proactive, though, they will first build out the proper workflow based on the available technology, then determine compute needs and distribute devices. Managing enterprise mobility is currently a large challenge, and there will continue to be significant opportunity as a new phase of adoption begins,” added Robinson.
According to a market research report by MarketsandMarkets, the total BYOD and Enterprise Mobility market is expected to reach $181 Billion by 2017, with a compound annual growth rate of 15.17%. Toss in a recent Tech Poll/Tech Priorities survey conducted by CIO Research that found 59 percent of CIO respondents said that they plan to increase mobile spending in the coming year, and a boom is on the horizon.
This growth has already spawned a new wave of mobile devices that look to bridge the work-life gap.
Jonathan Leopando, a technical communications specialist at Trend Micro, recently examined the rise of dual-identity mobile phones in a blog post, writing that to help keep the enterprise secure, some mobile companies -- namely Blackberry and Samsung -- have created devices that have two distinct profiles: one for work, another for home.
The problem is that there isn’t a standard method on how to secure these new tools.
“What it means is that if enterprises really want to use a feature like this, they might find that only a small percentage of devices are as secure as they ought to be because many employee devices aren’t on the right platform. Alternately, they might have to limit their users to a very specific device or platform – which goes against the grain of the entire Bring-Your-Own-Device trend,” he wrote.
From an enterprise perspective, the mobile ecosystem – in conjunction with cloud offerings – presents a significant shift. Rather than having tight control over the entire experience, IT architects now must contend with devices that often serve dual purposes and connect to third-party systems, according to the survey.
CompTIA’s Second Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility study is based on an online survey of 502 IT and business executives in the United States conducted during February 2013.
A full copy of the report can be downloaded HERE (members only).
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