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Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:37

Portable devices on the house: Australian employers refuse BYOD to employees


A new study today revealed most employers, in Australia and New Zealand, did not accept BYOD (bring-your-own-device) practices and still preferred to provide their employees with corporate's mobile devices when needed.

Research firm Ovum conducted a study across 80 large enterprises in Australia and New Zealand. The research found that only 10 percent of surveyed companies declared they preferred their employees to bring their own devices at work and to reclaim costs through expenses.

Ovum Senior Analyst, Claudio Castelli, said enterprises in both Australia and New Zealand were not ready to embrace the consumerisation of mobility. 'These enterprises still have a high degree of control over mobility and are not inclined to adopt a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy - at least not in the short-term,' he said.

According to Ovum changes to BYOD policies in large organisations were still the exception to the rule; however one limitation of this study may be not to have included Qantas in its survey. Today Australia's national carrier contradicted the results of the study, when the company's chief information officer, Paul Jones, told The Australian Qantas would allow up to 35,000 employees to bring-their-own devices to work.

"The old 'I'm going to control everybody's end-point device' is gone," Jones said. "You have to embrace it and manage it rather than try and draw really hard walls around it."

An opinion shared by Ovum Castelli, who said enterprises should allow BYOD practices not only to cope with end-user preferences and increasing demands, but also to improve their working environment. 'This (BYOD policy) is normally related to increased employee retention, end-user satisfaction and productivity,' he said.

Asked about security concerns employers might have in supporting foreign devices on their network, Castelli admitted their management was increasingly challenging. However he maintained enterprises could transfer management responsibilities to a third party.

'There is a trend toward managed mobility,' he said echoing the results of the survey. 'Enterprises should look for providers that can offer device management capability and support for an increasing diversity of devices and the speed of development and new product launches in the device market'.

According to Ovum there are lucrative opportunities for providers of mobility services for large enterprises in Australia and New Zealand. The research firm stated that the greater adoption of mobile devices would drive higher data traffic and new access technologies.

"Telcos in ANZ have a strong reputation in enterprise mobility and should take leadership and profit from the mobility trend,'Castelli said. 'They should partner with other players to offer end-to-end solutions and choose their SI (System Integrator) partners for complex and highly customised projects carefully'.

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