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Majority of IT Departments Ignorant of BYOD: Report

Industry analyst Ovum surveyed 4,000 employees from around the world on their corporate BYOD policy.

Nearly 80 percent of current Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) activity remains inadequately managed by IT departments, according to London-based financial industry analyst group Ovum.

The firm today released findings from a report which surveyed more than 4,000 full-time employees from around the globe. According to Ovum, 70 percent of all smartphone-owning professionals are now using their personal device to access corporate data, and the firm found what it terms as a "concerning level of ignorance" by IT professionals about the BYOD trend.

Nearly half of those surveyed said their IT departments either did not know of BYOD or were ignoring its existence, operating a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, while a further 8.1 percent actively discouraged it. Levels of ignorance by IT were significantly higher in mature economies with more rigid working practices, such as those of Continental Europe, compared to high-growth economies such as Brazil, India and South Africa, the survey found.

“BYOD in the developing IT and consumer electronics markets is big and structurally predisposed to get bigger,” said Richard Absalom, senior analyst at Ovum. “Overall, we are seeing more encouragement of BYOD behaviour in high-growth economies, such as South Africa, Brazil, India and the South Eastern Tiger economies, than in mature economies, notably continental Western Europe.”

Added Absalom, "BYOD multiplies the number of networks, applications, and end-points through which data is accessed. These are the three main points at which data is vulnerable; so, if left unmanaged, BYOD creates a huge data security risk.”

Ovum’s research also showed that 50 percent of employees say privacy concerns would stop them accessing their own personal apps on a corporate-provisioned smartphone. For half of all employees, a corporately provisioned smartphone or tablet is not a perfect substitute for a personally owned device, and this will continue to give momentum to the BYOD trend, the firm said.

The Ovum survey polled employees from 18 countries, including the U.S. India, Japan, Russia France, the U.K., Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore.

[See Also: Preparing Your Bank for BYOD]

Bryan Yurcan is associate editor for Bank Systems and Technology. He has worked in various editorial capacities for newspapers and magazines for the past 8 years. After beginning his career as a municipal and courts reporter for daily newspapers in upstate New York, Bryan has ... View Full Bio

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