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IT support for BYOD decreases: Unisys

New research from IT services provider, Unisys, has found that IT support for BYOD has decreased significantly as compared to 2011.

The proportion rated as having high levels of support for employee-owned smartphones and tablets fell from 24 per cent to 15 per cent.

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However, it also revealed IT support for company-owned smartphones and tablets in Australian organisations has nearly doubled since last year.

In 2012, 57 per cent of Australian employers responding to the survey rate their organisation as providing a high level of support for company-owned mobile devices, up from 32 per cent in 2011.

Unisys' 2012 Australian "Consumerisation of IT" research into enterprise mobility study, polled 2609 employees and 590 business and IT decision makers from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, The Netherlands, New Zealand and United Kingdom. In Australia, it surveyed 307 iWorker respondents and 79 IT respondents.

According to the company, the study finds a gap in how employers and employees view the use of mobile devices and apps at work.

It claimed employers think it is just a preference and is likely to increase workload on the IT team assuming staff will contact the help desk when they have problems with their BYO device or app but employees say the reason they want to use mobile devices and apps is because it lets them be more productive and they are more likely to trouble shoot problems themselves.

Seventy-two per cent of Australian business and IT decision makers surveyed predicted that tablets will become integral to the way they conduct business and provide services in the future. However, only 39 per cent said supporting employee-owned devices will be inevitable. "BYO devices won't necessarily create the strain that IT departments fear. IT management should understand that self-service portals and peer support via wikis and blogs could be acceptable to employees as a means of accessing support," Unisys Asia-Pacific IT outsourcing vice-president and general manager, Lee Ward, said.

The research also showed that there is a clear disparity in perceptions of why employees use mobile devices and apps for work -- 66 per cent of surveyed employers claimed employees bring their own devices to work because they use them at home and simply want to use them at work.

Conversely, employees responding to the survey cited productivity as the driver to for greater mobility in the workplace: 67 per cent of iWorkers use a smartphone for work because they can get things done whenever and wherever it is convenient and 60 per cent said it is so they can quickly and easily interact with partners and customers. Similarly, 56 per cent of employees use tablets for work because the apps help them get their work done more efficiently. "It seems fair to say that by continuing to view employees' desire to use personally owned devices for work as a preference rather than a necessity, IT departments and organisations have been slow to respond to employee demand for mobile apps that would enhance their productivity," Ward claimed.


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