UK catching the BYOD bug
While most of Europe has been dragging its feet on BYOD, it seems that the United Kingdom is an exception to that trend.
According to a recent survey by recruitment firm Robert Half Technology, a full 76 percent of the UK chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed said that their firms allow BYOD.
This is a significant jump from a survey conducted last year by nonprofit IT association ISACA, which found that only 28 percent of UK enterprises allowed BYOD. ISACA surveyed its 4,500 members for the survey.
In Europe, as a whole, 28 percent of enterprises allowed BYOD, compared with 34 percent in North America and 48 percent in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), according to the ISACA survey.
The biggest challenge that CIOs face when allowing BYOD policies is security, according to over half of the respondents of the Robert Half poll.
The most popular BYOD devices are laptops (65 percent), smartphones (56 percent), USBs/memory sticks (51 percent), tablets (38 percent), external hard drives (27 percent) and iPods/MP3 players (19 percent).
"Companies need to consider a well thought out BYOD strategy if they want to attract the best candidates--especially IT professionals. Almost half of CIOs reported that allowing employee-owned devices into the company improved productivity, while 37 percent said that they improved employee retention/satisfaction," commented Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half.
Surprisingly, IT departments are more likely than other departments to drive BYOD initiatives in the UK, in spite of security concerns. More than a third of respondents said IT departments were the key driver for implementing BYOD, more than general employee requests, the leadership team or human resources.
In the rest of Europe, things are not going so well for BYOD. In fact, research firm Strategy Analytics found that Western Europe as a whole is scaling back on BYOD, with a 15 percent reduction in BYOD smartphone sales in the first quarter, and a 43 percent increase in corporate purchases of smartphones.
Kevin Burden, director of mobility at Strategy Analytics, attributed the slow uptake in BYOD in Europe to a reluctance on the part of mobile operators to siphoning off revenue from lucrative corporate contracts, as well as separate billing systems for commercial and consumer customers, and high roaming charges.
It is only a matter of time until Europe follows North America and Asia in embracing BYOD. The longer European enterprises and operators take, the further behind they will be. - Fred