Technology

CompTIA Study: BYOD Fails to Excite Large Enterprises

By / Jun 18, 2014 (Jesussanz/ThinkStock)

Despite the hype around bring your own device (BYOD), more than half of large firms aren’t doing anything with it, according to a recent study. Part of the issue could be that the rewards don’t make up for the extra frustrations.

Here’s a number that could deflate the hype around the bring your own device (BYOD) trend: 51 percent of large enterprise firms in a recent CompTIA survey don’t allow BYOD.

The uptake is a little better at smaller firms—and of the 400 respondents to CompTIA’s “Third Annual Trends in Enterprise Mobility” report, 55 percent had a BYOD policy of some kind. But few had fully converted to BYOD-only: Just 3 percent of medium and large firms, respectively, had a “full BYOD” policy, while 9 percent of small firms could say the same.

That’s despite a push by organizations to boost mobility efforts—something more than 70 percent of respondents are doing. However, the productivity and organizational benefits appear limited, with just 30 percent of organizations formalizing their mobility policy and just 8 percent finding that the increased offerings—mobile or tablet—are changing workflows.

So, What’s the Problem?

According to an analysis of the report by CIO Magazine, part of the issue may be the problems that surfaced for early corporate adopters—including mountains of additional paperwork, restrictive policies put in place by corporate legal departments, hidden costs that surfaced only after the fact, and additional work for IT departments. The result is that what sounds appealing from a distance becomes less so as you have to work through the intricacies.

“Many employees have become wary of participating in a BYOD program, which, ironically, was originally created to make life easier for the employee,” the magazine’s Tom Kaneshige wrote.

CompTIA, meanwhile, pinpoints the problem as one of complexity—whether the devices are BYOD or not—as something large firms struggle with.

“Integrating devices is also the top challenge for the largest firms, but the issue is one of complexity rather than lack of resources,” the association states in a news release. “The sheer numbers of employees and devices makes integration a much greater undertaking. The same is true for support.”

Small firms, meanwhile, struggle with resources, while medium-sized firms have the worst of both worlds at their backs.

And while mobile devices are easy to use on their own, the additional technologies required for enterprise-level mobility often come with a steep learning curve—something 45 percent of respondents said was a problem for their employees.

“Mobile devices get used heavily in employees’ personal lives, but there are enterprise aspects such as encryption, proper security settings, and enterprise apps that require further and ongoing education,” CompTIA’s Director of Technology Analysis Seth Robinson said in a statement.

Is your organization using BYOD, and if so, how’s it working out for you? Let us know your take in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now and a former newspaper guy. More »

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