Despite Security Risk, Companies Embrace BYOD

Less than half of IT organizations have formal policies on the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace, but nearly all of them intend to institute them within two years, according to a new survey regarding such bring-your-own devices (BYODs).

Ninety-two percent of the 700 information technology organizations surveyed for Citrix Systems said they know employees are using their own devices in the workplace. Forty-four percent said they currently have BYOD policies, and an additional 50 percent said they plan to have a BYOD policy in place by mid-2013.

The most popular devices employees are bringing to the workplace are laptops and smartphones, the survey found. However, most companies expect that in the next two years, more people will be using tablet computers as their primary personal computing device.

The survey, which reached out to chief information officers in seven countries, found that allowing employees to bring their own tablets, laptops and phones to the office has as many benefits as it does security risks. Those benefits include improved employee satisfaction, increased worker productivity, greater mobility for workers, more flexible work environments for employees and reduced IT costs.

Forty-four percent of the IT organizations said they plan to pay employees a stipend almost equal to what it would cost if their own IT departments obtained and managed comparable devices, and an additional 31 percent of companies plan to help offset some of the costs.

"There are two reasons that BYO is being embraced within organizations," said Mick Hollison, vice president of desktop marketing and strategy for Citrix. "There are those that are using BYO to keep up with the rapid consumerization of enterprise IT, and then there are forward-thinking CIOs who have embraced BYO as a way to attract the best talent, encourage a flexible working environment and raise productivity levels."

Investment in technology to support BYO was also popular, based on the survey. Sixty- two percent of organizations responded that they have already invested or plan to invest in desktop virtualization —  technology that allows organizations to manage Windows-based desktops centrally in the data center, then deliver them to all types of users across the enterprise. Eighty percent of those companies intend to leverage that investment to support employee-owned devices and BYO.

This story was provided by IT TechNewsDaily, sister site to BusinessNewsDaily.