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Employees feel pressure to use personal smartphones at work

Sarah K. White | Nov. 15, 2016
Businesses are encouraging employees to use personal devices for work purposes, but according to a recent survey, without a proper BYOD strategy and reimbursement plan in place, it might be decreasing productivity.

Employees are increasingly being asked to use their personal devices for work-related reasons, according to a survey from Syntonic, an organization that offers mobile content solutions for consumers and businesses, conducted by Information Solutions Group. The survey found that 87 percent of employers rely on employees to use personal smartphones to access business apps. On the employee side, almost half of the respondents said their employer required them to use their personal smartphone at work and 23 percent said they felt pressure to use it outside of work.

Even though businesses are pushing for BYOD, some companies are so far behind the curve on these programs that they aren't even sure who should head them up. The survey found that 45 percent of CEOs say they should oversee a companywide BYOD program, while 73 percent of CIOs and 51 percent of CFO's say it falls under IT's jurisdiction. With 77 percent of respondents saying they expect personal smartphone use at work to increase over the next year, the time to tackle a corporate BYOD policy is already past due.

Ditch legacy systems
One of the biggest roadblocks standing in the way of proper BYOD strategies are outdated, legacy systems. Companies run into compatibility issues, because instead of replacing old platforms, they often try to fit legacy systems into new ones, says Sinan Eren, vice presiden of Vast Mobile Enterprise, a company focused on the virtualization of mobile apps. For example, companies will do things like stream a Windows app to an iPad, which Eren says is "the technology equivalent of bloodletting to cure diseases."

"A company with a robust mobile strategy does not worry about the make or model of their mobile devices, whether the device is owned by employee or provided by company, whether the apps are enterprise-centric or are consumer apps," says Eren.

Eren says that businesses typically approach BYOD from the perspective of hardware security. But instead of worrying about security on devices and peripherals, Eren says businesses should focus on securing the corporate data that resides on the devices and creating policies around what can and cannot live on a personal device.

Eren says it's not hardware and devices that are the security threat, it's the apps that host corporate data, which is what hackers are after. Your BYOD strategy doesn't need to be overly complex, he says, but it does need to work within the parameters of your business and be something that can grow and adapt as technology evolves.

"It is all about creating a blueprint that can deliver a consistent, predictable and scalable execution model for deployment, support and ongoing asset management," says Gina Gallo, president and CEO of Stratix Corporation, a company specializing in managed mobility services.


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