Interviewing 2,200 workers’ attitudes towards their own smart devices (laptops, tablets and smartphones) in 13 regions, BT and Cisco found that 76% believe their organizations need to take further steps to realize the productivity gains and other benefits smart devices offer. According to respondents what’s most needed is greater use of cloud solutions (33%), greater use of specialist software (32%), and greater support for smart device users (32%).
The survey conducted by Vanson Bourne discovered that more than half (56%) of IT managers surveyed noted a decline in performance in some applications, negatively impacting productivity and holding back realization of smart devices’ promised benefits. From the end user’s perspective, nearly half (46%) of workers with Wi-Fi access at the office have experienced delays logging on or accessing an application; 39% have noticed apps running more slowly now than before.
“Ubiquitous Wi-Fi access over a better network is key to the development of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), but 45 per cent of employees still don’t have wireless access to their corporate networks,” according to a BT-Cisco press release.
More than 2/3 (68%) of those without Wi-Fi access in their organization said they believe having it would have a positive impact on their work: 31% said it would make them more efficient and productive; 30% said it would help them work more flexibly; and 26% said it would help them stay in touch.
Besides greater network capacity, an overwhelming majority of IT managers (84%) thought adopting a BYOD policy would confer a competitive advantage on their organizations. The study also revealed that progress is lacking when it comes to organizations “adopting or articulating a consistent policy across wired, wireless and Virtual Private Network (VPN).”
A lack of confidence and trust in employees’ recognition of security risks and organizations’ information access, use and distribution policies is holding back the formulation and implementation of BYOD policies, according to BT and Cisco. Though up from 19% in 2012, just 26% of IT managers believe that all workers understand access requirements or permissions for their mobile devices. Suggesting this belief is justified, 26% of employees using a personal device for work purposes recognize that doing so represents a risk to company security.
“With networks creaking under the demands of smart devices and more than three quarters (76 per cent) of users convinced that their organization needs to step up to the opportunity, it’s clear that enabling BYOD in its many forms is about much more than simply cool devices and a mobile contract,” Neil Sutton, VP Global Portfolio for BT Global Services, commented. “Organizations need to consider elements of device compatibility, security, Wi-Fi, network, and application performance, with a focus on driving costs down.
“Behind every great device you need a great performing network,” he continued. “With the right control and connectivity you can deliver a great user experience on any device. At BT we are working with more and more customers to understand and implement this coming of age of consumerization and turn it to business advantage, reliably, securely and cost effectively.”
Gordon Thomson, Director, Enterprise Networks, EMEAR, highlighted the benefits and success of Cisco implementing its own BYOD policy. “We implemented a BYOD model internally, starting with mobile phones in 2009, and have managed to lower our costs per employee by 25 per cent.
“Over the last few years, we have added 82 per cent more devices to our base with 28 per cent more users. Organizations looking to deploy a BYOD program should look at a comprehensive BYOD plan and think beyond just the device and operating system, but about the services delivered to that device, user experience and productivity gains.”
Highlighting the need for organization’ to balance access to information and applications with security, Adrian Drury, practice leader, Consumer Impact IT at Ovum, stated, “The growth in employee smartphone and tablet ownership is changing the ways we work. Implementing a BYOD policy is about enabling employees to work more flexibly, and be more productive.
“Draconian Wi-Fi access limitations or failure to invest in sufficient Wi-Fi coverage is a fast way to ensure a poor employee experience. However, this is not a mandate for open networks. Businesses still need to ensure that network security policies are maintained, and ideally they should take an integrated approach to network access control, device management and application management.”