More and more employees want to use their own devices at work – survey

22 Nov 2012

There is an increase in demand by employees to use their own smartphones and tablets to access business files and email, 84pc of Irish IT professionals say, but this is placing IT managers under more pressure.

A survey of 339 ComputerScope readers in association with O2 revealed that 67pc of IT managers said the move to remote working is increasing the pressure they experience.

More than three-quarters (76.9pc) of those surveyed said they feel they would need to make changes to the way their organisation makes data available to take full advantage of the possibilities of the bring your own device (BYOD) trend. 

“A key finding from the survey is that the vast majority (88pc) of IT professionals agree or agree strongly that a professional enterprise mobility plan can save money and increase productivity,” said Nicola Mortimer, head of Business Product Portfolio Management at Telefónica Ireland, which operates the O2 brand.

“But it is also clear from the research that businesses must adapt in order to enjoy these benefits.”

For example, 45pc of survey respondents said they believe a BYOD policy cannot only attract the best talent, but retain the best employees, as well – the more skilled the employee the more likely this is the case.

Data security

A BYOD policy would also have to address security. To wit, 44pc of personal devices currently used to access corporate servers and email systems are unencrypted, according to Paul Hearns, editor of ComputerScope.

“This emphasises the need for a comprehensive device management programme,” Hearns said. “It is no surprise that data protection heads the list of challenges identified by businesses implementing BYOD.”

Mortimer agreed. “There is an onus on all IT partners and providers to supply the tools and protection necessary for organisations to enable a mobile workforce while helping to address and manage the security issues which BYOD introduces,” she said.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic