Companies often oblivious to employee devices

I’ve seen it over the last few years where companies are often clueless that their employees are using personal devices like Android phones and tablets to access company applications like email.  Often a company will have webmail or a similar service set up, and unbeknownst to the company an employee will configure their device to access this data.

I recently had an experience with this where a family member wanted to access her work email on her iPhone, but her corporate IT said it wasn’t possible.  I played with some settings on her phone and within 10 minutes had her work email on there.  It was that simple and I’m sure corporate IT has no idea.  The fact that corporate IT wouldn’t work with her more seems a little ridiculous given that she wanted to basically work more.

IDC recently published a report showing just how little IT departments grasp this trend.  Here are some interesting stats I pulled from that report:

  • 40.7% of devices (including PC’s) that people use to access business apps are employee owned – up from 30.7% last year!
  • 69% of workers said they use personal devices to access business apps – IT mangers estimated only 34% of workers did this
  • 83% of company administrators said security concerns dissuaded them from allowing personal devices

From these stats it’s clear there’s a growing trend of people using their devices at work yet companies are underestimating this usage.  Rather than ignore the problem, companies should embrace this trend (more productive employees, more mobility, etc) and instead equip themselves and their employees with the security they need to feel comfortable with personal devices.

Of course, if companies want to lock out employees from accessing their work data maybe that’s better for everyone.  More free time to enjoy other activities.  Maybe I shouldn’t have enabled that email account…

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