BYOD rising, but companies retain control
Hesitant to relinquish security and control of data flow in the network, many businesses have been slow to embrace the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend currently growing in the enterprise sector. According to a study from Xigo, nearly two-thirds of companies are still in control of most mobile activities in the workplace.
Xigo, a subsidiary of telecom solutions provider Dimension Data, finds that 60 percent of surveyed businesses are in charge of purchasing, securing and managing the mobile devices on their networks. In many cases they still pay for their employees' devices as well.
However, BYOD has become a growing phenomenon in the workplace, as more employees look to bring their own devices -- including laptops, smartphones and tablet computers -- to work. This practice has the potential to reduce mobile costs for the company and improve employee productivity, but it also raises concerns over security and mobile cost structures.
"This research shows just how important it is for enterprises to understand how mobile communications are being used within their organization," says Dave Spofford, CEO of Xigo, in a statement. "Managers need to understand and plan for the permanent mobile workforce in a way that doesn't discourage good working habits -- but at the same time keeps the cost structure under control."
Though BYOD is undoubtedly growing, some industry experts argue that it isn't for every company. If the IT department cannot support certain mobile platforms, or the company is concerned that BYOD puts sensitive data in danger, then it is probably best to avoid the practice. Other companies are addressing this by rolling out hybrid solutions, in which employees bring their own devices, but the company is able to control certain aspects and institute necessary security measures. Ultimately, a company will have to decide on what mobility approach best suits its specific needs.