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Australia lags in enterprise BYOD support: panel

Australia is lagging behind its global peers in enterprise support for BYOD, according to a panel of industry experts.

They were speaking at the recent BlackBerry 10 launch in Sydney.

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Forrester senior advisor, Tim Sheedy, said although Australia has one of the highest proportions of smartphone adoption globally, the official support of BYOD is not in par with some of the more developed global countries.

He attributed a recent Forrester study, which found that 40 per cent of Australian enterprises support BYOD, and of those supporting BYOD, only 60 per cent of them have a BYOD policy in place within their organisations.

"I'm comparing that to North America, where a larger proportion of the country sees the opportunity of supporting BYOD. Australia just sees the risks associated with it," he said.

Optus Business mobility and convergence vice-president, Phil Offer, said the trend revolves around applications, as business gains will revolve around accessing CRMs and obtaining data securely.

"We did a survey at Optus on the future of business and found that only 14 per cent of businesses can currently access their CRM through their smart devices but this demand expectedly, could be 50 per cent in two to three years," Offer said.

BlackBerry Australia managing director, Matthew Ball, said the lines between who should be using a smartphone, a company provided phone or bring their own device in is blurring.

"That line has changed and blurred significantly in the last few years. It started with the CEOs bringing their devices in to work and it has flowed down the ranks to employees asking for the same thing," Ball said.

In addition to that, Ball claimed the lines between businesses and consumers as well as the communication and mobility needs of kids and adults are diminishing.

"The ability to get things done and the ability and features of some of these mobile devices is driving it. It allows them to get things done, stay more connected, and access important information on the go," Ball added.

BlackBerry president and CEO, Thorsten Heins, said the younger generation expects this as part of their corporate life.

"Businesses now need to provide the younger generation with the right environment that they feel right to strive in," Heins said.

Heins mentioned that security and the management of a large number of BYOD devices on a single network are two key reasons why businesses have yet to adopt or put in place BYOD strategies within their organisations and as a result, decided to focus on that space with the BlackBerry 10. "We intend to engage in that segment and make sure that we participate from a device perspective and also make sure that enterprises have a cross platform solution to manage various devices from various manufacturers in a very secure and efficient way. It's a horizontal and vertical play," he said.


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