UK enterprises continue to drag feet on BYOD

Employees are finding ways around BYOD prohibitions, leading to network breaches
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Enterprises in the United Kingdom are not embracing BYOD the way their cousins across the pond are, according to U.K. experts consulted by IT Pro.

"There is a lot of talk about this wholesale march towards IT not giving employees technology and then allowing them to pick their own and bring that into the workplace instead, but I don't see it taking place in U.K. enterprises particularly strongly," said Pierre Hall, solutions director of workplace and software at IT services firm Computacenter.

Hall added that he was not "refuting" claims that the BYOD trend is accelerating, just that there is no "wholesale replacement strategy on at the moment."

Dale Vile, research director at analysis group Freeform Dynamics, told IT Pro that the "level of activity and commitment to BYOD is grossly exaggerated, but it is an extremely difficult area to research."

Vile added: "No one in a leadership role wants to look like a Neanderthal, so the knee-jerk responses to [questions about] BYOD are invariably positive. What's clear, though, is most IT and business leaders haven't got it worked out yet."

These observations are supported by data collected last year by the nonprofit IT association ISACA. In Europe, as a whole, 28 percent of enterprises allow BYOD, compared with 34 percent in North America and 48 percent in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), according to a survey of 4,500 ISACA members.

A full 40 percent of U.K. respondents said that their enterprises prohibit the use of personal devices at work, while 23 percent said their enterprises allow BYOD. A majority of U.K. respondents said that the risks of BYOD outweigh the benefits.

However, Sam Routledge, sales director at IT reseller Softcat, believes that employees are still bringing their personal devices to work even if BYOD is officially prohibited by their enterprises.

"Whether or not companies are making provisions for this stuff or have a BYOD policy in place, it doesn't matter, because you can bet your bottom dollar people are already using their own devices to connect to corporate networks. Unless you're the most locked down organization out there, they will find a way," Routledge told IT Pro.

For more:
- read the IT Pro article
- check out ISACA's U.K. BYOD stats

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