In my inbox it is often a case of another day, another bring your own device (BYOD) survey.
One day it is ‘security people embrace BYOD'; in another it is ‘BYOD causes nightmares/headaches for security people'. Now rather than ‘flaming' PR companies and vendors for issuing such reports that often get ignored, I figured it would be worth contrasting some of the most recent reports that I have seen to get an overview of the findings.
The (ISC)2 2013 Global Information Security Workforce Study was a short preview of the full report to be released next month. Of its 12,000+ respondents, it found that "company policies supporting BYOD are being widely embraced as a win-win initiative", with 53 per cent saying their companies actively allow users, either employees, business partners or both, to connect their devices onto their networks.
It also said that 54 per cent identified BYOD as a growth area for training and education within the information security profession. As for the risks, 78 per cent consider BYOD to present a somewhat or very significant risk.
Looking at another survey from a company that has really profited from the boom of BYOD, Good Technology, the findings from the 100 customers that took part revealed that 76 per cent had adopted BYOD policies. It also noted that five per cent of companies had no plans to support BYOD.
A final survey that dropped into my inbox was from Dell Software. Its survey of 1,485 senior IT decision makers from around the globe found that as a result of implementing BYOD, 74 per cent of companies experienced improved employee productivity and 70 per cent saw better customer response times. It also found that 59 per cent of respondents believed that they would be at a competitive disadvantage without BYOD.
Finally, its survey respondents identified four personal gains for their employees: more flexible working hours; the ability to foster creativity; speed innovation; and to facilitate teamwork/collaboration. This led to 56 per cent of respondents saying that BYOD had completely changed their IT culture.
Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless at 451 Research, said: “It is clear that companies are supporting BYOD in large numbers as it gives employees the choice to use the devices that make them most productive.
“While there is a lot of focus on supporting and controlling the device, the next challenge for IT will be provisioning and securing large volumes of enterprise apps and data in BYOD deployments.”
As well as the statistics mentioned above, there were some more quirky findings. Dell Software found that 60 per cent of organisations wanted employees to sign an agreement adhering to country-specific data regulations, while Good Technology found that 50 per cent of companies supporting BYOD require that all costs be covered by employees, who are more than willing to take their employers up on the offer!
The (ISC)2 report found that business drivers for adopting BYOD put the user at the centre of IT strategy, as the desire to improve end-user experience at 60 per cent was almost equal to the business requirement of supporting a mobile workforce (64 per cent).
Is this similarity uncommon between survey topics? Of course not, sometimes there can be even more surveys than this on a similar topic in the same period of time, but as was said in our 2013 predictions, this is not a trend that is going away. In fact if you read the reports from the last two years, it is only becoming more and more realistic.