The number of personally-owned iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices that professionals bring into office is expected to more than double between now and 2014. That means the businesses that have so far been lax about considering or planning an official bring your own device (BYOD) program and/or establishing security policies around BYOD are going to need to play catch up – and they’ll need to get started as soon as possible.
The growth projection comes from a new report by Juniper Research. The company expects the number of employee-owned devices used on the job to grow from 150 million today to 350 million in less than two years.
The report definitely shows that BYOD is a technology model that is here to stay. In addition to adoption by private companies, Juniper sees public sector organizations like government agencies as driving BYOD adoption. The company notes, however, that public agencies will likely be late adopters. Such agencies will likely not embrace BYOD on a large-scale before completing a series of pilot projects and test deployments. Those trials are likely to be followed by much wider adoption in short order, however.
The report also notes that many companies that do sanction and/or support the use of personally-owned devices like employee iPhones or iPads don’t invest in adequate security measures to protect the devices and the business data on them. In fact, Juniper found that “the majority of employee’s phones and smart devices did not have any form of security software loaded nor were company materials protected.”
Nitin Bhas, who authored the report, noted that security issues are continuing to emerge around the BYOD concept and that businesses cannot afford to ignore them.
While BYOD has become an ‘inevitable’ trend for the enterprise, businesses need to create new end-user IT policies and address the key security issues emerging. New device management policies and security measures need to be put in place.
Beyond noting the security issues around BYOD and the projected overall growth of the BYOD model, Juniper also noted that it expects western Europe to be the geopolitical region that most embraces BYOD and has the greatest number of consumer devices in workplace settings.