Rating: Smartphones still not seen as proper business tools
There has been a great deal of buzz around ‘Bring-Your-Own-Device’ (BYOD) schemes as some suppliers and observers would have us think. These facts emerged from a recent survey of 100 IT professionals from UK organisations, carried out by security specialist – McAfee. We know that BOYD is popular with employees – asked if their users valued certain devices over others, 89 per cent of those surveyed claimed that this was the case. However, these IT professionals are pretty scared of letting mobile devices into their environment. 33 per cent of UK organisations foresee the protection of mobile devices in the workplace to be the biggest security headache they will encounter in the year ahead
Yet only 19 per cent of organisations allowed all devices to have access to company data and proactively implemented real-time security monitoring of these devices. A further 11 per cent welcomed all devices into the workplace without thought to device protection.
However, 35 per cent of those questioned stated their organisation does not currently allow personal devices to connect to the corporate network.
Plus a further 33 per cent said that only certain, approved devices were allowed to connect to the company’s server. So 68 per cent effectively haven’t implemented BOYD.
It’s interesting to see which devices employees liked most. Believe it or not he laptop was seen as the most valued device (with 31 per cent).
So it was the personal tablet (24 per cent) which pushed personal mobiles into third place with 18 per cent.
So the smartphone still isn’t seen by many as a proper business tool. Which is probably why certain mobile phone handset suppliers who have tried to focus on business usage (step forward RIM and Nokia) aren’t doing so well.
Significantly, PCs, work-owned mobiles and work-owned tablets all ranked badly. Presumably the security of data on these devices would be less at risk due to loss or theft, poor password protection or data breaches.
Raj Samani, CTO EMEA with McAfee, argues,”he consumerisation of IT has undoubtedly changed today’s concept of working practices and businesses need to acknowledge and respond to the appetite that employees have for using personal devices such as smartphones and tablets in the workplace.”
Guess what Raj recommends? Security, of course. “Rather than fight against the tide, organisations should embrace the use of these devices and work alongside staff to ensure that comprehensive IT policies and best practice guidelines are put in place,” Raj Says.