The productivity benefits of BYOD and enterprise mobility are becoming hard to ignore and corporate adoption is growing, but are businesses getting it right in terms of procedure and policy? Caryn Johnston, Director of Propositions, investigates.
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) use among enterprise employees appears to be growing, according to recent Gartner survey. At the headline level, over 90% of employers allow BYOD in one form or another – but Gartner’s findings tell another, very interesting story.
First, the much vaunted productivity benefits are being realised. Gartner found that, if run at its optimal capacity, a BYOD program, as part of an enterprise’s mobility strategy, could add up to 32 work hours per month, per employee. That’s nearly a week’s worth of productivity added every month.
Interestingly, however, it seems that approaches to BYOD vary, and for some it is more a case of BYOD-or-else. That is, while 33% said they were allowed to use their own devices for work, 26% said their employers required use of their personal devices for work purposes.
Perhaps most importantly, strategy, policy and procedure are still failing to keep pace with day-to-day practices. Gartner found that:
- 19% of BYOD users said their organisations had not communicated a BYOD strategy to them.
- Just 15% of respondents said their company allowed BYOD and enforced a signed mobile device policy.
These two points raise concerns on two levels. First, in the absence of a coherent mobility strategy, can BYOD truly be aligned with considerations like corporate goals and strategy, a wider IT development roadmap and issues like security?
Second, in the absence of a properly formulated, communicated and policed BYOD policy, can users really be expected to understand their responsibilities in terms of security and responsible use?
Put those points in context with a few more of Gartner’s findings and the potential risks loom large. It found that among all respondents, 35% use a personal mobile device to access enterprise data, and 20% to access back-end systems behind a firewall via VPN.
The message here is simple. Yes, BYOD can deliver big benefits as part of a coherent mobility strategy – but, it you don’t have a BYOD policy in place, it’s time to grasp the nettle.