The bring your own device (BYOD) trend is gathering steam but posing challenges to IT departments, which are trying to figure out how to secure the various smartphones and tablets employees are using to connect to corporate networks, according to findings in OnForce s Q3 Confidence Index, a poll that reflects the opinion of more than 500 technology service professionals.
More than half of technicians that do BYOD work reported a 25 percent or more increase in the number of requests for personal mobile device configuration and/or setup at businesses in the past six months. However, just 31 percent of those surveyed have seen an increase in requests for mobile device security during the same timeframe, suggesting businesses are putting themselves at risk of data breaches.
"As businesses implement BYOD, there are significant mobile security issues to keep in mind," Gene Morris, general manager at BrightStar Enterprise Solutions Inc, said in prepared remarks. "I help businesses connect and configure personal mobile devices, and at the same time consult with them about the security risks. As BYOD continues to infiltrate the business environment, we do anticipate a significant uptick in mobile security implementations in the next 8-12 months."
The survey also indicated the number of different devices employees are bringing to work is increasing. Two out of three technicians surveyed said they've seen increased diversity in the devices at the businesses they serve in the past six months, and IT service technicians said the connect on average approximately 14 personal devices for businesses per service event. The majority (58 percent) reported an increase in the number of devices they typically connect in the past 12 months.
"Carrying a full-time staff of technicians to address on-site IT service requests for every type of technology is costly and ineffective because demand fluctuates and technology changes," Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce, said in a prepared statement. "Businesses need to take a more dynamic approach to IT service that lets them respond quickly to requests without having to carry a staff of hundreds of technicians with the skills to cover every type of technology out there."
Although current confidence among IT service technicians has risen to an all time high in the past nine months, sentiment is still pessimistic overall, with IT service professionals growing less optimistic about the future, although those who say the economic climate has had no impact on their business has remained consistent. "Uncertainty surrounding the future has been consistent, but it's interesting and encouraging to see increasing optimism in the past nine months across the technician community," Cannone concluded. "I'm excited to see what kind of an impact the upcoming presidential election will have on the current and future outlook for IT service technicians."
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