IT Departments See Increased Productivity from Employee Devices
With mobile devices and online connections now making it possible to work just about anywhere, new research shows businesses are feeling compelled to adopt practices that promote better work-life balance for employees.
In a new study from Citrix, 35 percent of the IT executives surveyed said they are under greater pressure than five years ago to offer their employees more flexibility.
Elizabeth Cholawsky, vice president and general manager of IT services for Citrix, believes IT managers need to be able to work more efficiently, supporting people and machines from wherever they happen to be.
"The growth of mobile devices, bridging both personal and work use, represents new opportunities for IT support," Cholawsky said. "Enabling support, monitoring and managing remote and mobile workers, is now a de facto requirement for IT to ensure highly productive and effective businesses."
Along with the pressure to offer a mobile work environment comes the need to ensure the smartphones and tablets those employees use while outside of the office are secure.
While the study found that a quarter of businesses already allow for employees to use their own mobile devices, more than 60 percent of businesses surveyed have no controls in place to manage these devices, and 45 percent of IT managers are unaware of all the devices being used.
"The survey shows that employees are using new consumer devices in the workplace for both business and personal use," said Brett Caine, senior vice president and general manager at Citrix. "Organizations need to respond to this trend by developing policies to address new mobile work styles that can drive productivity through more flexible working, while safeguarding the use of data and sensitive information."
Security concerns are still the leading reason why companies aren't allowing their staff to use their own mobile devices, according to the study. Nearly a third of the firms surveyed are most concerned with the security implications of allowing application and document downloads, with 23 percent worried about remote access to the corporate network.
Those who are finding a way to use a mobile workforce that relies on their own devices are reaping the rewards, the research found.
The survey shows that more than half of U.S. businesses supporting the use of mobile devices have recorded productivity improvements of more than 10 percent, with 16 percent confirming gains of more than 30 percent.
The research is based on surveys of more than 1,100 senior executives and IT managers across Australia, France, Germany, United Kingdom and the United States.