Citrix: Most SMBs still don’t have formal way to manage BYOD

Summary:According to a new report from Citrix, small businesses are responding very differently to BYOD from country to country.

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The majority of small businesses worldwide still don't have a formal strategy for addressing and managing the "bring your own device" trend, according to a new report published by Citrix on Thursday.

Researchers who worked on the international study argued that the "ongoing shift toward a knowledge-based, global economy has not surprisingly caused companies to rethink their management policies, business processes and IT tools."

But based on the survey results, small businesses are responding very differently to BYOD from country to country.

Roughly 59 percent of employees worldwide included in the survey said they already use their personal devices for work. That figure jumps to 68 percent for American workers.

Furthermore, less than a quarter (24 percent) of U.S. workers said they didn't feel pressure from superiors to use their own devices at work — compared to 41 percent in the United Kingdom.

Respondents from the U.K., Canada and Australia were said to have admitted the most pressure to increase adoption of mobile work practices.

Thus, they would need to respond to BYOD demands (mobile device management, security concerns, etc.) as quickly as possible, which arguably could lead to rash and uneducated policy decisions.

The results are thrown for an even bigger loop when you take particular devices into account.

Approximately 72 percent of Australian employees included in the study use their own smartphones for work, compared to just 54 percent in the United Kingdom.

The global average for tablet usage was 25 percent, but that figure jumps to 35 percent in France.

This alone presents a problem for IT managers and business decision makers to figure out, as each medium comes with its own productivity use cases (which apps, how often they're toted around and where, etc.), which in turn contribute further to security issues need to be addressed.

The only conclusive link among all of these results is that there isn't a generic approach either from the employee or IT perspective yet.

Unfortunately, it appears that most SMBs will have to continue to address BYOD concerns through trial-and-error, which is typically much more costly for smaller companies than it would be for enterprise counterparts with more resources and larger budgets.

For reference, Citrix commissioned online market research agency YouGov for this study. The firm surveyed senior executives and managers across all disciplines at 1,263 public and private sector businesses and organizations across the United States, the U.K., France, Germany, Canada and Australia in April 2013.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, IT Priorities, SMBs

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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