Australian companies struggle with BYOD: IDC

Analyst firm IDC has released a new report which analyses the attitudes and policies on smartphones, media tablets and the use of corporate applications via mobile devices in the corporate environment.

Bring your own device (BYOD) and the effective use of mobile technology in the workspace continue to be an area of focus for IT managers. 49% of the respondents indicated an increase of spending on mobility in 2012 whilst 45% of the respondents would keep the spending at the same level as the previous year.

With the proliferation of smartphones (10% growth in 1H 2012 yoy) and media tablets (119% growth in 1H 2012 yoy), organisations are seeing the benefits of supporting corporate applications on mobile devices. However, the BYOD trend has also posed many challenges for the IT department, particularly the need to support a wide variety of devices, operating systems and applications.

Companies are approaching the support of mobile applications in many different ways. On one extreme, some companies support applications on corporate issued devices only and ban the practice of bringing devices to the workplace. On the other, some IT departments will encourage consumer devices by issuing employee stipends.

IT departments that have a BYOD strategy tend to be divided on the level of support they will offer employees. The survey also reveals a small minority of respondents which choose to ignore the issue entirely.

"Enterprises lack a holistic approach and strategy for managing a mobile fleet. This is exacerbated by a very fragmented ecosystem focused on offering point solutions to point problems," says Siow-Meng Soh, senior analyst at IDC Australia.

"There are many mobile device management and security solutions in the market, but some companies have deployed these solutions without covering other areas such as HR, legal and device ownership issues."

The survey also shows that IT managers are more reluctant to deploy applications to media tablets than they are with smartphones. However, media tablets are finding their way into the corporate environment as vendors roll out better products in the coming months. Key verticals such as education, health and government will find it appealing to use media tablets for enhancing productivity and customer service.