Rebels without a cloud – workers would quit if disconnected from mobile apps

17 Jul 2013

One in three workers would consider leaving their jobs if they weren’t allowed to use their mobile devices and access their favourite apps in the workplace, new research from VMware reveals.

VMware’s research found that 67pc of office workers surveyed in the UK do not believe the organisations they work for provide them with the mobile tools and applications to be productive and efficient or mobility policies that provide the flexibility to work effectively on the move.

More than a third (39pc) of UK employees said they would actually consider leaving their organisation if they couldn’t use their mobile devices for work.

IT departments are currently unable to meet employee requirements, according to research by Vanson Bourne which revealed 47pc of decision-makers in Europe do not agree their department can meet the mobile expectations of staff.

More than half of UK office workers – 53pc – have considered the security risks of storing company information on free online file-hosting services, but 42pc who are aware of the risks loaded the documents to these sites anyway.

Some 49pc of senior management are aware of the issue around commercially sensitive data being stored on employees’ mobile devices but don’t think of it as a priority.

In Italy, the level of apathy about storing sensitive data on workers’ mobile devices stands at around 70pc.

Some 76pc of UK workers who accessed sensitive company data on their mobile devices haven’t been disciplined for it.

The top 5 UK employee requests for access to data on their mobile devices are: email (79pc), VPN (43pc), intranet (40pc), CRM apps like (27pc) and file hosting (27pc).

Mobile rebels with a real cause

“This is evidence of an emerging class of mobile rebels with a real cause – a new wave of employees using mobile devices to their advantage, to work more effectively and drive innovation,” says Joe Baguley, CTO at VMware, EMEA.

“Many companies are playing catch up to this trend; if workers aren’t provided with the mobile resources they require, many will take the initiative and drive change themselves. Savvy businesses are recognising this and are prioritising formal mobility strategies to harness the initiative of their workers and deliver competitive edge.”

“Businesses must tread a fine line between embracing and promoting a flexible working culture, while protecting corporate intellectual property and customer data. There’s a mobile uprising occurring, and it’s creating management and security challenges for IT departments,” said Baguley.

“There’s also a great opportunity here, however. VMware believes alternative ownership models for companies, such as BYOD, can be implemented using an integrated workforce mobility approach. This can help businesses improve workforce productivity, gain faster access to new innovation and achieve differentiation, without compromising information security or business resilience,” Baguley said.

Biker image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years