Large number of European employees see BYOD as essential to jobs

Jul 22nd, 2013 / Category: Enterprise Mobility

The growing adoption of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies at organizations around the world has been well documented. Eager to improve productivity and increase flexibility, firms are allowing their workers to utilize their personal smartphones and tablets for a wide range of work-related activities.

As this trend has expanded, there have been a number of significant effects. One of the results is the increasing importance for firms to invest in secure file sharing solutions. These tools can help businesses to ensure that their employees can leverage BYOD without putting corporate data at risk.

Such solutions are particularly critical as worker attitudes toward BYOD evolve. Such progress was highlighted by a recent study, which found that a large number of European workers now see BYOD as a basic right and essential to their jobs.

BYOD in Europe
The study, conducted by Vanson Bourne and commissioned by VMware, included 1,500 IT decision-makers and 3,000 office workers, UC Strategies reported. Of these, 39 percent indicated that they would consider leaving their current positions if they were told that they could no longer use their personal devices for work. The study labeled these workers "mobile rebels," as their mobile behavior is dictated less by company policy and more by their own judgments.

"This is evidence of an emerging class of mobile rebels with a real cause - a new wave of employees using mobile devices to their advantage, to work more effectively and drive innovation," said Joe Baguley, CTO at VMware EMEA, the news source reported.

However, despite the growing consensus that BYOD is essential for workers' job performance, the survey also found that many businesses struggle to provide sufficient mobile IT support. Among participating U.K. office workers, more than two-thirds said their organizations do not provide the mobile applications and tools they need to maximize their efficiency and productivity, while an additional 62 percent said that their firms lack mobility policies that offer sufficient flexibility.

Nearly half of all European IT decision-makers indicated that their departments were not able to meet their employees' mobile needs.

Solutions needed
As these numbers demonstrate, many organizations are struggling to find the right balance when it comes to BYOD. Obviously, employees are clamoring for BYOD, with many going so far as to only work for firms that allow the practice. Businesses are therefore under pressure to accommodate BYOD while ensuring the security of corporate data. Yet by its nature, BYOD prevents firms' IT departments from exercising the level of oversight and management which is possible when employees rely on corporate-issued devices.

To overcome these issues, businesses should consider deploying secure file sharing solutions. These tools can maintain the integrity of files sent and received in a BYOD environment, thereby drastically reducing the risk of a data breach. And because the tools are self-operated, workers will not feel that their employers are being excessive in their handling of employees' personal devices.