U.S. companies are moving away from the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend that kicked off in earnest five years ago and had workers using their personal smartphones and tablets for work duties, according to a new study.
An online survey conducted in April and May of 375 U.S. IT professionals in various private businesses found that 53% allowed no BYOD, up significantly from 34% in 2013. No BYOD means that a company provides smartphones and tablets to workers and bans the use of personal devices for work.
Also, just 7% of those surveyed said they allow a full BYOD policy where the company takes no responsibility for devices. Another 40% allow a partial BYOD policy, where the company provides some devices but allows some personal devices to access corporate systems.
"It's not quite the death of BYOD, but there does seem to be a decrease in the use of BYOD in enterprises," said Tim Herbert, senior vice president for research and market intelligence for CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association, which conducted the survey.
The BYOD findings were published recently in a comprehensive CompTIA report, "Building Digital Organizations," that tracked the intertwined influences of mobile devices and cloud computing on enterprises. "Cloud and mobility represent a true revolution," the report said, noting that the two technologies represent 100% of all growth in IT spending in 2015. Wireless data spending globally will be $536 billion, while sales of smartphones and tablets will reach $484 billion; overall cloud spending will reach $118 billion.
"There is a clear move towards a policy of no BYOD," the report stated. Companies find they can pursue mobility initatives just as well by providing mobile devices to workers "who are often happy to take a corporate device if it is the same thing they would choose on their own."
Various studies, including one by management software vendor Good, have concluded that about 70% of smartphones and tablets used by enterprises run on Apple's iOS.
The CompTIA report noted that even when companies ban BYOD, "ambitious employees will find ways to utilize personal devices and applications even if they are forbidden."
The survey exposed a trend away from BYOD also noticed by Jack Gold, an analyst at J. Gold Associates. "There certainly is a curtailment of BYOD from where everyone thought it would be a couple of years back," Gold said. "Companies are much more cautious now, knowing that the benefits of BYOD often don't outweigh the risks."
Gold agreed that workers are getting more of the devices they want from their companies so there's less motivation to circumvent IT. "A lot of the original motivation behind BYOD was by users wanting to replace older style corporate devices like BlackBerry, with newer iPhones in particular, but increasingly Android as well."
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