Most Aussie enterprises still avoiding support BYOD: VMware

Most Aussie enterprises still avoiding support BYOD: VMware

Summary: According to a survey by VMware, most Australian companies are turning a blind eye to BYOD. With no corporate IT support for personal devices, many employees have turned to Google's search engine to fix their devices.

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Despite the persistent hype around the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, most Australian enterprises do not provide support for staff members' personal devices being used for work, according to a study by VMware.

The virtualisation vendor began a study into the consumerisation of IT last year. This year, VMware surveyed 2,100 people in the Asia-Pacific region, of which 153 were from Australia.

Of the local workers surveyed, 77 percent said their companies don't support personal devices that are being connected to the corporate network. That's only a marginal improvement — 2 percent, to be exact — from last year.

"From an IT perspective, if you think about the fact these employees are actually accessing corporate networks, accessing corporate data and files, that poses huge threats to information security and compliance," VMware end-user computing expert Asanga Wanigatunga told ZDNet. "These companies don't know where the data is going, and machines are being brought in unsanctioned."

Risk aversion is one reason why enterprises have been slow in formally adopting BYOD, according to global recruitment firm Ambition.

The study also found that most IT departments know employees are doing BYOD, but still refuse to support it. This leaves 70 percent of staff trying to fix their device problems themselves, with 60 percent turning to Google's search engine for help.

"From an employee perspective, not supporting BYOD brings their productivity down, because they have to spend so much more to resolve any device issues," Wanigatunga said. "It looks like enterprise IT is actually a big inhibitor of BYOD, which is a huge concern for organisations."

One of the things that companies need to work out is how to offer BYOD to workers to facilitate flexible working without compromising IT security, he said. But Wanigatunga recommended against excessively locking down the corporate IT environment for security reasons, because it will defeat the whole purpose of why workers bring their own devices in the first place.

"They're bringing them in to be more productive" he said. "But if you go down the secure path, you won't get the productivity gains."

It's a fine line that companies need to walk, but failing to address BYOD will make enterprises less competitive, according to Wanigatunga; 41 percent of the VMware research's respondents indicated that they prefer to work for businesses with more technological freedom.

Topics: Australia, VMware, BYOD and the Consumerization of IT

Spandas Lui

About Spandas Lui

Spandas forayed into tech journalism in 2009 as a fresh university graduate spurring her passion for all things tech. Based in Australia, Spandas covers enterprise and business IT.

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3 comments
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  • That's because...

    Outside of 1099 Employees and Smartphones, it isn't a real situation. Most companies are smart enough to protect their data and those that aren't will have to explain why later on.
    slickjim
  • Bring Your Own Distraction

    Sure, 41% prefer to work for a company that has more technological freedom? But that leaves 59% who don’t care or even prefer to work for a company that has the tools already in place to complete assigned duties. How is that number a selling point BYOD?

    For many people, BYOD means Bring Your Own Distractions.

    Users in many organizations need to sit down and do their job and stop going the distracted route with multiple devices all trying to access a single piece of information. If users would focus on task accomplishment, the workplace would be more productive. Electronics, especially personal devices, can be very distracting to productivity.

    The Australians seems to be doing just fine from where I’m sitting.
    mperkins@...
  • Hard to imagine anyone allowing BYOD

    I can't imagine that I would ever condone BYOD in my workplace.

    I struggle to understand how any enteprise would let staff have access to their company records on devices that they can just take home at night? and what about the possibility that they could introduce virii, worms etc into the company system? It is a security nightmare.

    It's bizzare! On the surface it seems like sheer stupidity?
    Gary O'Connor