UK businesses storming ahead with BYOD

UK businesses storming ahead with BYOD

Businesses in the UK are increasingly embracing the BYOD trend, new research has shown, despite the rest of Europe seemingly dragging its feet on the issue. 

A recent survey from recruitment firm Robert Half Technology showed that over three-quarters of UK chief information officers (CIOs) surveyed said their companies allow employees to use their own devices at work. 

This figure indicates that the UK has stormed ahead in BYOD over the past year, after a survey carried out in 2012 by IT organisation ISACA found that just 28 per cent of British businesses permitted BYOD. 

The research also revealed that last year just 28 per cent of companies in Europe as a whole were embracing BYOD. Meanwhile, 34 per cent of enterprises in North America allowed BYOD, and 48 per cent in Australia and New Zealand did so. 

However, the Robert Half poll showed that Western Europe now appears to be cutting its BYOD efforts, with a 15 per cent reduction in BYOD sales in the first quarter of 2013, coupled with a 43 per cent rise in the corporate purchase of smartphones. 

The research also suggested that the biggest challenge for CIOs when permitting BYOD policies surrounds security. 

Despite these concerns, IT departments were found to be more likely to be behind BYOD schemes in the UK than leadership teams, human resources and general employee requests. 

Laptops were revealed to be the most popular BYOD devices, with 65 per cent of those surveyed using these. Smartphones came in second with 56 per cent, while memory sticks rounded out the top three, with 51 per cent using these. 

Furthermore, 38 per cent utilised BYOD tablets, 27 per cent allowed employees to bring in their own external hard drives, and 19 per cent had given the green light to workers’ own MP3 players. 

Phil Sheridan, managing director of Robert Half, commented: "Companies need to consider a well thought out BYOD strategy if they want to attract the best candidates–especially IT professionals. Almost half of CIOs reported that allowing employee-owned devices into the company improved productivity, while 37 percent said that they improved employee retention/satisfaction.”