BYOD isn’t going away: Ovum

According to market research firm Ovum, the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend is here to stay.

Ovum surveyed 4,371 consumers across 19 countries and a range of verticals and job roles for its 2013 multi-market BYOX (bring-your-own-anything) employee study. With 60 per cent of full-time employees using personal devices for business, Ovum said business leaders need respond and adapt, or risk being steamrolled.

According to Ovum, the study found that nearly 70 per cent of employees who own a smartphone or tablet are using it to access corporate data, and tablet ownership by full-time employees has risen from 28.4 per cent to 44.5 per cent over the past year. Some 67.8 per cent of smartphone-owning employees bring their own smartphone to work; 15.4 per cent do so without the IT department’s knowledge and 20.9 per cent do so even though their employer has banned BYOD.

“Trying to stand in the path of consumerized mobility is likely to be a damaging and futile exercise,” said Richard Absalom, consumer impact technology analyst at Ovum, in a statement. “We believe businesses are better served by exploiting this behaviour to increase employee engagement and productivity, and promote the benefits of enterprise mobility.”

The research found that email and calendar remain the most commonly used apps, but enterprise social networking, file sync and share and IM/VoIP are growing fast. However, often times these apps are procured not through the IT department, but by the employees themselves — 25.6 per cent sourced their own enterprise social networking apps, while 22.1 per cent their own file sync and share apps and 30.7 per cent their own IM/VoIP apps.

“The thread that runs through all of the data is that IT is not keeping up with the changing demands and behaviour patterns of the new mobilized, consumerized workforce. Nowhere is this clearer than in the BYOA data. If employees are sourcing their own applications to do their job, then IT is not delivering the right tools or a good enough user experience for its employees,” said Absalom.

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