Enterprises conflicted over BYOD

Enterprises conflicted over BYOD

ANZ companies are adapting, but with trepidation over security and policy, reports find

Two recently issued surveys indicate that organisations in Australia and New Zealand are adapting to the BYOD trend, seeing it as a boon for increasing productivity and job satisfaction while lowering capital and operating costs.

It's still early days in New Zealand, according to one report, even though a majority of enterprises surveyed already support their employees' personal devices and smartphones for business purposes.

Companies still have reservations about the impact of the BYOD trend has on their IT resources, especially around security and policy, even when they favour the concept.

According to a Frost & Sullivan survey of 96 C-level executives and IT decision-makers in New Zealand, the majority of businesses have a favourable view of BYOD, with 72 percent saying they support BYOD.

Within that group, 53 percent support all employees devices, while 19 percent only support devices for specific departments.

The report, New Zealand Enterprise Mobility Market 2012, ranks enterprise mobility a higher priority over other IT investments, according to a statement by Frost & Sullivan. More than 21 percent of businesses rate mobility to be either their top priority, or a very important priority this year.

Almost half of the companies rate security and data backup as main concerns when implementing a BYOD plan, while finding the right people to manage the complexity that comes with supporting multiple platforms and devices is another challenge.

"BYOD is still at an early stage of adoption, with 'Choose Your Own Device' more common, though BYOD is expected to become the preferred model for endpoints for organisations,” says Andre Clarke, New Zealand country manager for Frost & Sullivan.

The report indicates organisations generally prefer open source models of Google’s Android and Microsoft Windows Mobile7 platforms, despite the greater control and better quality of iOS apps. Clarke says that New Zealand businesses are "confident" of Microsoft being the provider of end-point operating systems in 2015.

The majority of businesses consider Microsoft holds enough expertise in desktop applications (Office, Outlook, Lync etc) to remain a major player in the mobile operating system (OS) segment and expect Microsoft to extend the functionality of its Office/Outlook/SharePoint applications to mobile devices by further strengthening its mobile OS.

According to a Forrester Consulting survey of ANZ organisations on behalf of Juniper Networks, enterprises are changing their IT strategy because of BYOD adoption. The survey, BYOD Adoption Goes Beyond Devices and Requires Completely Rethinking The Network and Security, released in August, shows that 76 percent of companies feel at risk because of BYOD.

The study involving more than 200 IT decision makers at organisations in Australia and New Zealand showed 51 percent said that BYOD had distracted or changed their IT strategies, and only 37 percent said their organisations were well prepared for it.

Twenty nine percent of respondents preferred a mobile security solution aligned with their existing network security.

“BYOD highlights the underlying trends of the users' changing relationship with technology, device agnosticism, location-independence, and mobility in general," Forrester says in a statement. "Organisations must therefore address these underlying challenges head-on. They should not simply submit to meeting the expectations of 'overly demanding' business users by focusing only on tactical solutions for access to email”.

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