UK IT Leaders do not have a Handle on BYOD

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The majority of UK IT leaders still do not have a handle on adopting the BYOD trend into their organisations. According to a report published by AppSense, 67 per cent of IT leaders cite developing BYOD IT policy as a major challenge, despite a similar amount (69 per cent) of them already supplying two or more devices to employees.

The report, entitled BYOD: Bridging the Gap, which aggregates the views of 100 IT leaders and 1,000 employees in the UK, went on to reveal that half of IT departments believe that meeting end-user expectations around corporate IT experience remains a significant issue. This is worrying when you consider that 78 per cent of IT leaders also admitted to experiencing an internal push from employees to implement BYOD policies and that the majority (60 per cent) of devices offered to employees are mobile in nature.

The push from employees to embrace BYOD, so that they can actively start using their own technology at work, combined with the fact that 40 per cent believe that they will be more productive using their own devices, highlights why corporate IT departments desperately need to implement the right BYOD IT policies within their businesses. While 67 per cent of IT leaders suggest they do have a BYOD policy in place, almost half (46 per cent) admit this is not clearly defined when it comes to managing mobile phones and tablets. And with more than a fifth of employees (21 per cent) now actively using tablets in the workplace, it highlights that IT leaders do not yet have a handle on the full impacts BYOD will have on their businesses.
“The defining factor of BYOD is freedom of user choice,” explains Nick Lowe, Vice President Sales and General Manager, EMEA. “With so many devices offering different kinds of user experience, BYOD instantly becomes a challenge of scale: more devices equals more operating systems, more security protocols, more application portals, more user profiles to manage consistently and more platforms to support.”

“Improperly managed, BYOD can also mean more trouble for today’s IT department. Since it relates very specifically to user experience, when those users don’t enjoy the quality of service that they’ve come to expect, it can create a rift between the two parties. IT can commonly be seen as inflexible or stubborn, while users become perceived as unfairly demanding. IT departments are struggling to keep up the pace end users want them to keep – finding themselves compromised by a user base that fails to understand the effort required, and the potential issues raised, in achieving this goal.”

The report further describes other issues facing organisations attempting to keep pace with the mobile revolution including security and maintaining end-user productivity and satisfaction. Along with seeking insight from ITDMs, the report also examines attitudes of employees towards technology in the workplace revealing that a wish to be more productive amongst 40 per cent of all employees is the biggest single motivation for end-users to adopt BYOD.

“This report shows a potentially perilous gap between user expectations and IT’s perceived remit. From a user perspective, the BYOD experience is hampered by IT not delivering on the promise of ‘any device, anywhere’. Simplicity, not case-by-case decision making, needs to be at the heart of any good BYOD strategy. Anything else will frustrate not only the end user, but make the IT department’s life more difficult.”

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