Large firms and SMBs split on BYOD policies, EIU survey finds

Less than half of SMBs allow access to corporate data through personal mobile devices

A split is growing between large companies and small and mid-sized businesses when it comes to BYOD policies.

Over 90 percent of companies with over $1 billion in revenues allow personal mobile devices to access corporate data, but fewer than half of companies with less than $500 million in revenues do so, according to a poll of 578 senior executives conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO).

While employees continue to push for broader use of personal mobile devices at work, corporate executives are becoming increasingly uneasy about the security risks posed by BYOD. Only 28 percent of the executives surveyed said that it was appropriate to make strategic planning data accessible on mobile devices.

Close to half of respondents said their companies are challenged by the complexity of securing many personally owned mobile devices and a lack of knowledge about mobile access security. Most are uneasy about their companies' mobile data access policies.

In addition to security concerns, respondents were worried about the demands that BYOD is placing on their network management capability. A full 60 percent cite IT infrastructure requirements as the primary factor in developing mobile access policies.

Social networking also poses challenges for corporations. One-third of executives are restricted from discussing work on social media platforms, even though 56 percent of firms have acceptable use policies for accessing social networking via mobile devices.

"It's clear from the survey findings that each new opportunity to further connect and engage employees brings with it a corresponding set of challenges," wrote Chuck Robbins, senior vice president for worldwide sales at Cisco, in a recent blog.

The BYOD challenges are mounting, but so are the opportunities for improved employee productivity and satisfaction. Large enterprises and SMBs will each have to find their own paths to balancing access with security.

For more:
- check out the EIU report
- read Robbins' blog

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