Bring your own device to work policies prove popular with large enterprises

Enterprises are embracing the bring your own device (BYOD) to work trend.

According to a survey of companies with more than 2,000 employees, 80 per cent are supporting the BYOD model, while 60 per cent of those with more than 5,000 employees support it; 35 per cent of businesses with at least 10,000 employees do so.

The research, by mobile device management vendor Good Technology, also found that large companies from the finance/insurance and healthcare industries dominate the overall BYOD picture, while retail/wholesale companies and government are less likely to support it.

When asked whether current policies needed to be adjusted for BYOD, 77 per cent of respondents said they had modified their policies, while 23 per cent said they were able to accommodate BYOD without making changes.   

The survey also found that employees are willing to pay for personal devices used at work, with 50 per cent of companies with BYOD models requiring employees to cover all costs. Just under half (45 per cent) of businesses provide their employees with a stipend or ‘expense back' options to help subsidise the cost of their mobile device or service plan.

Those companies that offer stipends have the highest rate of employees using mobile devices.

The report said: “The influx of personal mobile devices in the enterprise is changing policy drastically. This report's findings support the idea that formal BYOD programmes, combined with supporting solutions and policies to ensure security and compliance, are fast becoming the predominant model for enabling broad employee mobility, across multiple industries and around the globe.

“In fact, across all industries surveyed, the large majority of Good's customers already have such programmes and supporting solution and policies in place. But, no matter what their specific objectives and approach may be, it's clear that enterprises must take a proactive approach if they are to compete effectively with their peer companies, maximise the productivity of their employees and ensure ongoing security and compliance in an increasingly mobile and BYOD world.  

William Beer, director at PwC, said: “Almost every client I engage with is struggling with the BYOD question; some of them are doing it strategically, so they are actively saying ‘we will enable BYOD on our networks to save money', or ‘we will use this to draw talent to the firm', while others are struggling just because the senior executives are saying ‘I want my iPad connected to the network' or ‘I know our competitors can use the iPad on their network'.

"BYOD as a term is so broad. To my mind it is about technology and, primarily, email; but then it is about the application, and people are not giving enough focus on the application.

“I would break it down into four things: the technology, the mail, the applications and, the most important, the governance. So are you updating your security awareness programme?”

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