What do mobile rebels mean for your business?

April 7, 2014
What do mobile rebels mean for your business?

Following our recent study into covert clouds in the workplace, we’ve just announced the second part of our campaign looking at the impact of cloud computing on business. This part of the campaign looked at how businesses across Europe are supporting their employees’ use of mobile devices, as well as the views of the employees themselves towards mobile working.

The research highlight just how much pressure businesses are under from their staff around using mobile solutions. 64% of European office workers don’t believe their organisations provide them with the mobile solutions they need in order to be productive and efficient. At the same time, 63% of employees say their employer doesn’t offer mobile working policies that will allow them to work effectively outside of the office. Worryingly, more than a third (39%) of employees would consider leaving their organisation if they were told they couldn’t use their mobile device for work.

The research shows that companies are failing to provide their staff with the right mobile tools to be productive and work efficiently. However, IT departments are aware of this, with nearly half of IT decision makers (47%) saying that they do not agree their department can meet the mobile needs of its employees. What’s clear is that companies are being forced to play catch up. Where workers aren’t provided with the required mobile resources, they’re starting to instigate change themselves.

The findings also reveal the potential security risks around unauthorised mobile usage. Almost two thirds (62%) of IT leaders believe company information is being stored on personal devices, with almost half (49%) of them suspecting the information could be commercially sensitive. Only a third (35%) of employees questioned were confident the data they stored on their personal devices was not commercially sensitive, implying that the vast majority cannot be sure on the issue.

Encouragingly, businesses are recognising that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies can boost productivity and employee satisfaction, and are looking to take action. For example:

  • 72% of IT decision makers have implemented a BYOD policy, or are planning to
  • A third of respondents are creating BYOD policies to retain or attract talent
  • 54% of respondents are designing systems and policies in 2013 that support employees accessing data when out of the office on a mobile device

What the study reveals is that workers are becoming more assertive and knowledgeable about their use of IT, and are not afraid to ask for new modes of working if they lead to greater productivity. As a result, IT departments need to listen more to employees to understand their technology requirements and build mobility policies which take into account these considerations. At the same time, the study also highlights the security dangers that await those IT departments not getting involved in proactive, multi-device management. Businesses have to tread a fine line between embracing and promoting a flexible working culture for competitive edge, while protecting the company’s intellectual property and customer data.

In our next Mobile Rebels post, we’ll be speaking with Brian Gammage to find out how businesses can work with their mobile rebels to ensure they’re harnessing the business benefits that mobility can bring.

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