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Singapore most recalcitrant with regards to IT use

Country has most number of employees who are unaware or do not always comply with IT policies among Asean markets, where 81 percent use their own devices for work.

One in two employees in Singapore do not always adhere to IT policies or are even aware what these are, and that is the highest among three other Asean markets.

At 38 percent, the country also tied with their counterparts in Malaysia for using unapproved personal devices for work, according to a survey conducted by YouGov and commissioned by VMware. Some 34 percent in Indonesia and 30 percent in Thailand did likewise.

The survey polled 2,500 working adults across the four Asean countries as well as South Korea, encompassing 500 in each market. Aged between 18 and over 55, the respondents worked in public and private sectors including manufacturing, financial services institutes, and healthcare.

Some 42 percent in Malaysia did not always comply with IT policies or were unaware of them, while 38 percent in Indonesia and 24 percent in Thailand did likewise.

Across the Asean markets, 35 percent used unapproved personal devices for work, with some 81 percent tapping their own devices for work. At 88 percent, the most number in Thailand used their personal devices for work, followed by Indonesia at 86 percent and Malaysia at 79 percent. Some 71 percent in Singapore did likewise.

Among the Asean respondents, 65 percent used mobile devices to access work email while 41 percent did so for work files. Another 38 percent used the devices to process financial transactions, with this the most popular in Thailand at 52 percent and Malaysia at 37 percent. This figure was 28 percent in Singapore.

In addition, 81 percent across the region faced challenges using work apps, with 38 percent feeling overwhelmed with too many passwords to remember. Another 33 percent used the same password across multiple devices, while 29 percent saved passwords as notes on their mobile device.

Some 37 percent in Thailand and 31 percent in Singapore used the same password across devices, while 29 percent in Malaysia and 25 percent in Indonesia did likewise.

Across the region, 34 percent experienced issues dealing with different interfaces across devices, while 32 percent faced difficulties with apps not syncing up properly across devices. In fact, 45 percent believed IT restricted flexibility and created complexities at work.

"As the benefits of digitisation extend across the organisation to include a broader set of employees and endpoints, there is an urgent need to balance consumer preferences with enterprise security," Ron Goh, VMware's Southeast Asia and Korea president. He said the study findings showed gaps and vulnerabilities that needed to be addressed or these could hamper the region's competitiveness and growth.