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IT Managers in BYOD Deadlock

si Team
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
si Team
With the introduction of tablets and the expanding popularity of smartphones, the businesses around the globe are changing. More and more employees have started using their own devices and this is making today’s workforce more mobile than ever. Still an emerging market, 2012 is seen as a year in which enterprise-grade tablet computing will go through major change. A recent survey points out that the U.S., the country with the most experience in managing tablets, also ranks first on the "security issue". The survey which was conducted among 1500 IT managers and executives in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Germany and Spain to assess attitudes, fears and hopes for tablet form-factor mobile devices ("tablets") in the workplace.

The survey, which was conducted by Redshift Research and commissioned by Cisco, exposed multiple aspects of this new paradigm. About 21 percent of employees in the U.S. have already requested for tablets and about 38 percent senior executives in the country are most likely to be issued a tablet. The main concern of IT managers when it comes to multiple devices in work space is related to security, with over 75 percent of U.S. IT managers saying new rules must be established around security and device usage. Also, nearly half (48 percent) of all IT managers surveyed agree that access to company applications should be restricted for all employees.

A staggering 48 percent of the respondents also said that their company would never authorize employees to bring their own devices (BYOD), yet 57 percent agreed that some employees use personal devices without consent. Using personal devices without consent was highest in the U.S. with over 64 percent of employees doing the same. Cisco’s Security Annual Report recently pointed out that multiple devices are becoming very common now and about 77 percent of surveyed employees worldwide have multiple devices in use, such as a laptop and a smartphone or multiple phones and computers. The same report also suggested that enterprises and employees must find common ground, with the company recognizing the individual’s need to use the device of his or her choice and the employee understanding that the company must do whatever is necessary to enforce its security policy and stay in compliance with regulatory requirements related to data security. This essentially says that turning a blind eye towards BYOD will not work well in a long run.

“Mobile workers and virtual workspaces are here to stay—but so are the demands on IT to continue to ensure enterprise-grade security, manageability and interoperability. 2012 promises to be an exciting year and IT leaders are a critical component in unleashing innovation and enabling organizations to take advantage of the next wave of business growth and opportunity,” says Tom Puorro, Director of Product Management, IPCBU, Cisco Systems. Another major outcome from the survey is that 44 percent of IT managers worry that handling these BYOD-related issues has been diverting attention from other important projects.

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