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Grow Your Business Technology

Worker BYOD: A Double-Edged Sword for Employers

Worker BYOD: A Double-Edged Sword for Employers . / Credit: Smartphone Image via Shutterstock

With the popularity of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) continuing to grow in the workplace, information technology (IT) professionals are split on the trend. Nearly half of the respondents in a recent survey of IT professionals considered BYOD important to their organization, but one in five respondents also called BYOD a risk to their business. An additional 26 percent of IT professionals said their organization did not allow employees to use personal devices to complete work-related tasks.    

Striking a balance between the benefits and risks of BYOD is a challenge for IT professionals.  According to the poll, half of IT professionals thought that allowing employees to use personal devices for work purposes was an aid to employee productivity. Just fewer than 8 percent of the respondents felt that these devices were detrimental to productivity. Despite increases in productivity, nearly three-quarters of IT professionals also said that BYOD posed a threat to the security of their organization.    

"Employee support for consumerization of IT is in full swing, whether business leaders are ready to admit it or not," said Orlando Scott-Cowley, senior product marketing manager of leading supplier of cloud-based services for Microsoft Exchange and Office 365, Mimecast. "These results show a massive divide between employee sentiment and what the enterprise is actually willing to support when it comes to personal devices. It’s time enterprises fully enable their employees' productivity by not only supporting the range of mobile and tablet devices, but also providing the solutions that ensures corporate data remains secure."

[5 Ways to Protect Your Company From Employee Devices]

Since BYOD brings with it both benefits and challenges for an organization, the poll of 500 IT professionals had these tips for companies to follow in regards to the trend:

  • Provide comprehensive support – According to the poll, workers will find a way to use their personal devices at work and for work purposes. Avoiding a problem associated with this can be as simple as making sure that organizations support many platforms in a secure environment.
  • Focus on data – IT policies must focus on providing solutions that allow employees to securely access data for business purposes.
  • Enable productivity – Organizations can minimize their risk by identifying the programs and applications that employees use most and providing specific support for these applications.

The information in the survey was based on the responses of 500 IT professionals who were polled at the 2012 DevConnections conference in Las Vegas. 

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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