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Putting IT Back in Control of BYOD

Over the past several years, one of the most important trends to impact organizations of all sizes—but particularly mid-sized and large organizations—is for employees to use their own smartphones and tablets in the course of their work. The so-called Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend was initiated several years ago, often by senior executives who had purchased an Apple iPhone or an Android device and then requested their IT department to support it instead of, or in addition to, the mobile device that the company had supplied to them. Osterman Research includes as a key element of the BYOD trend the various applications that employees use as part of their work, such as personal file sync services.

To understand just how pervasive this trend has become, Osterman Research conducted a survey of 760 individuals with regard to the BYOD issues they face in their organizations. We found:

  • Unlike RIM BlackBerry smartphones—the traditional mainstay among corporate smartphone users—personally owned Apple iPhone and iPads, as well as Android smartphones and tablets, are more common than their company-supplied counterparts.
  • Our research also found widespread use of third party, cloud-based storage and file synchronization offerings that are sometimes used with IT’s blessing, but more often not: Dropbox, for example, is used in 14% of 1,000+ employee organizations with IT’s blessing—and in 44% of them without approval.
  • The BYOD trend for both mobile devices and employee-managed applications is pervasive and growing. Although most common in smaller organizations, even very large enterprises are experiencing the impact of BYOD.
  • A large proportion of organizations have not fully embraced the impact of BYOD. For example, our research found that even among organizations with 1,000 or more employees, only 54% have a formal IT policy for supporting personally owned mobile devices used for work purposes; the proportion of smaller organizations that have such an IT policy is even lower.
  • A failure to put IT in control of BYOD is having a negative impact: between 12% and 33% of organizations (depending on the number of employees) report that the use of smartphones is being hindered or slowed because IT cannot manage them to the extent they would like; 20% to 42% of organizations report the same for the use of tablets.

You can download the white paper we published on BYOD by clicking here.

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