Bringing your own device to work is actually becoming an accepted business practice for both small businesses and enterprises alike, based on new research from Citrix.
The global IT consumerization survey found that 25 percent of enterprises and small to medium-sized businesses worldwide support the use of personal devices for business purposes. Sure, that's only a referring to a quarter of the global workforce.
Nonetheless, it does speak to a very big trend as well as a pressing problem for IT departments -- whether they're in favor of personal devices being used on work networks or not.
For example, more than half (62 percent) of businesses surveyed have no controls in place to manage these devices, while 45 percent of IT managers are unaware about all the devices being used.
While the survey covers several major markets worldwide, here are the highlights for the U.S.:
- More than 67 percent of survey participants reported that they don't have any policies, procedures or IT systems in place to manage the use of personal devices for business purposes.
- Less than half of U.S. firms (46 percent) are aware of all the devices their staff are using for business purposes.
- 53 percent of businesses have seen productivity improvements of more than 10 percent thanks to the use of personal devices at work, with 16 percent reporting increases of more than 30 percent.
- 32 percent of firms are most concerned over the security implications of allowing application and document downloads on personal devices
- 23 percent are concerned over personal devices trying to get remote access to the corporate network.
So what are IT departments struggling with these issues to do about it? Essentially, they have to come to terms with the reality that employees aren't going to stop using their personal devices for business and figure out how to make it work.
"Providing assistance for remote and mobile workers is now a critical requirement to ensure highly productive and efficient businesses," said Elizabeth Cholawsky, vice president and general manager of IT Services for Citrix, in the report.
For reference, this survey is based on the responses of more than 1100 senior executives and IT managers across Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom, and the United States. The research was conducted in partnership by by YouGov and Research Now between May and August 2011.