Australian IT support for BYOD wanes

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Bucking an international BYOD trend, IT support for BYOD in Australia is waning, according to new research by Forrester.

In 2012, only 15 percent of Australian employers surveyed said that they had high levels of support for employee-owned smartphones and tablets, down from 24 percent in last year's survey, sponsored by IT services firm Unisys.

One reason for this result is the belief held by 47 percent of employers that BYOD devices increase workload on the IT department.

At the same time, support for company-owned mobile devices has increased. A majority (57 percent) of Australian employers surveyed rated their organization as providing a high level of support for company-owned mobile devices, up from 32 percent in 2011. 

"The research reveals that there are some fundamental differences between how employees and the IT department view IT support requirements" for BYOD, said Lee Ward, vice president and general manager for IT outsourcing at Unisys Asia Pacific.

A report published last month by IDC found similar reluctance on the part of Australian IT organizations to support BYOD.

According to the Forrester survey, 72 percent of Australian business and IT decision makers predicted that tablets would become integral to the way they conduct business and provide services. However, only 39 percent  believe supporting employee-owned devices will be inevitable.

A majority of IT and business decision-makers believe that employees who encounter trouble with their personally owned devices are most likely to contact the IT department, whereas 60 percent of employees say they are most likely to troubleshoot the problem themselves and 14 percent say they will ask a friend.

BYOD "won't necessarily create the strain that IT departments fear. IT management should understand that self-service portals and peer support via wikis and blogs could be acceptable to employees as a means of accessing support," Ward observed.

For more:
- see the Unisys release

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